News Arrington de Dionyso @ the Comet tonight
posted by July 9 at 9:01 AMon
Arrington de Dionyso (Old Time Relijun) is playing a “free raga” set on bass clarinet at the Comet tonight, on the billl with Cryptacize (featuring Chris Cohen of Deerhoof and Curtains, and Nedelle), Aaron Mannino, and Get Him, Eat Him. Show starts ca. 9 PM and cover is $6. Here’s what I had to say about Arrington’s solo stuff last year:
ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO Breath of Fire (K)
The instrumentation for Breath of Fire, the first proper solo album from Arrington de Dionyso of Old Time Relijun, reads like a list from some sort of bizarre Victorian parlor game: voice, newspaper, copper kettle, bass clarinet, and khomuz (more commonly known as Jew’s harp). Aside from “some birds outside,” de Dionyso is the sole performer, and no electronic effects or overdubs were utilized to alter the music, which was all recorded live.
What does it sound like? Devotees of Tuvan throat singing shouldn’t be startled by the opener, “Emptiness and Void,” but fans who associate the K imprint with indie rock may recoil when they hear this extended vocal drone, which suggests a cross between a didgeridoo solo and the teacher from old Peanuts cartoons using circular breathing to chant one long, uninterrupted om. Other pieces evoke small woodland creatures signaling intense discomfort via a series of squeals and pants (“Holotropic”), or a youngster suffering from gastrointestinal distress while mimicking a storm at sea (“Xibalba”). Such wordless vocal cuts are punctuated by playful interludes rendered on bass clarinet, plus several sonic outbursts that simply defy easy identification. This primal and often mesmerizing disc will either have you clawing for the STOP button within minutes, or it will ignite vivid flights of imagination to rival those inspired by one’s initial exposure to the innovations of Brian Eno and Sun Ra. Either way, Breath of Fire is undeniably powerful stuff. KURT B. REIGHLEY