Alan Licht & Aki Onda

Everydays
Family Vineyard FV8

Midway between virtual soundscape and bruitism, the sounds on Everydays’ five tracks assail and edify listeners’ senses with their own logic. That’s because every texture – from vibrating drones to spluttering signals to coarse interjections of unadulterated discord – are created by the guitar and electronic manipulations of New York’s Alan Licht plus the cassettes tapes and electronics used for particular ends by Japanese-born Manhattan resident Aki Onda.

Together, Licht who has a degree in film studies and Onda, who has worked as a photographer, create cinematic-oriented sounds that suggest further pictorial images. Perhaps that’s why the two often work with Toronto’s Michael Snow, whose work also encompasses cinema and music. Throughout this CD only Licht’s chromatic chording and rasgueado create recognizable thematic material. Meanwhile rhythmic undercurrents or comments on the proceedings arrive via Onda’s ring modulator-like electronic flanges or by tape-replicated resonance of footfalls, voices or musique concrete-like rhythmic intonation.

“Tiptoe” for instance, defines different degrees of sonic understatement. Beginning with intermittent clanging mixed with aviary whistles, broken-octave string clusters outline a theme, which repeats and echoes throughout the piece. After buzzing sequenced loops repeat discordant polyrhythms, canon-like, gentle guitar arpeggios move to the foreground, resulting in conclusive finger-style licks and string-snaps.

Grinding pulses, sputters and smears elsewhere reinforce the duo’s mastery of reconstituted sound fields. Remaining opaque, the presentation still leaves plenty of room for individual interpretation and analysis.

— Ken Waxman

— For Whole Note Vol. 14 #4

Midway between virtual soundscape and bruitism, the sounds on Everydays’ five tracks assail and edify listeners’ senses with their own logic. That’s because every texture – from vibrating drones to spluttering signals to coarse interjections of unadulterated discord – are created by the guitar and electronic manipulations of New York’s Alan Licht plus the cassettes tapes and electronics used for particular ends by Japanese-born Manhattan resident Aki Onda,

Together, Licht who has a degree in film studies and Onda, who has worked as a photographer, create cinematic-oriented sounds that suggest further pictorial images. Perhaps that’s why the two often work with Toronto’s Michael Snow, whose work also encompasses cinema and music. Throughout this CD only Licht’s chromatic chording and rasgueado create recognizable thematic material. Meanwhile rhythmic undercurrents or comments on the proceedings arrive via Onda’s ring modulator-like electronic flanges or by tape-replicated resonance of footfalls, voices or musique concrete-like rhythmic intonation.

“Tiptoe” for instance, defines different degrees of sonic understatement. Beginning with intermittent clanging mixed with aviary whistles, broken-octave string clusters outline a theme, which repeats and echoes throughout the piece. After buzzing sequenced loops repeat discordant polyrhythms, canon-like, gentle guitar arpeggios move to the foreground, resulting in conclusive finger-style licks and string-snaps.

Grinding pulses, sputters and smears elsewhere reinforce the duo’s mastery of reconstituted sound fields. Remaining opaque, the presentation still leaves plenty of room for individual interpretation and analysis.

— Ken Waxman

— For Whole Note Vol. 14 #4