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ClassicsOnline Home » MCBANE, M.: Chamber Music (Place) (Build)
Neat CD by a new Chamber/Jazz Group
I enjoyed this new CD by this group of eclectic musicians playing drums/percussion, piano, violin, string bass, and cello. They represent the new movement towards fusing Jazz, Rock, and Classical music both stylistically and instrumentally. The original pieces by violinist Matt McBane emphasize heavy, almost minimalist rhythmic sequences with increasing tension frequently growing throughout each piece until a final climax is reached. Some of the pieces are too difficult to listen to, but I enjoyed the creativity of most of them and found the CD to be a worthwhile addition to my music collection.more....
Place by Build-- Music of Matt McBane New Amsterdam Records
A profusion of new Post-post-minimalism is pouring out from this Brooklyn based label—a whole new generation of hipsters who might find the music of Riley, Part Andreiessen Reich, Adams, Gordon, Glass, Marshall, and Torke all a bit passé. Matt McBanes’ band, Build, is very representative of that tectonic shift.
The 1st piece, Behavior Patterns, starts as a canonic, pizzicato fest not unlike earlier 60’s Polish aleatoric music--only here there is a groove. What makes it doubly shocking is the jarring harmonic modulations introduced by Dave Brubeckish piano chords. Just as it seems to drift into what can be described a more a jazzy sound (probably emanating from the acoustic walking bass) suddenly many strange unison doublings appear at the end. The piece is strangely very stark while maintaining a Feldmanesque lightness and whimsy.
The next piece, Dissolve, finds its roots in an Addreissen/Gordon/Langish world only it is for full throttle rock band playing punkish, prog-rock. Again there is something resembling the Poles (Penderecki/Lutoslawski) in the strings--last I checked McBane isn’t a Polish name. This again has harsh juxtapositions, yet again formally very whimsical.
The 3rd piece, Ride, is like a found artifact of a simple pop progression analogues to Andy Warhol soap cans. With expressive string melodies overtop, this is really wacked stuff--like a demo for a laundry detergent commercial written by a homicidal maniac. Pure, nihilistic, genius.
The 1st movement of the 3 part ‘Swelter’ introduces more Dave Brubeck over Penderecki ominous strings—I can’t get enough of this crazed stuff!
It gradually moves into a kind of Brazilian samba then more canonic patterns—more shocking modulations--a la Max Reger/Faure/Scriabin. This is followed by a long transitional, heavily metered, Brazilian section that leads to the strongest climax in the CD (piano octave melody). Very, very powerful.
In the second movement, the groove from minimalism is replaced with almost French impressionism (nice wind chime imitation by the pianist). This formally, is not far from Bartok's Night Music. Musically, it’s a million miles away. This is a really beautiful movement with none of the stinky wrong note austerity one might associate with Feldmanesque wrong note music. Here, McBane has found a unique harmonic resting place between Chopin and Andrew L. Webber--which is not a bad thing. It’s musically very convincing. The final movement has more Andressian austerity meets 7th chord Brubeck coolness. Here again, it is more of a rock ensemble and is more Reichian than the previous works but clearly not Steve Reich. This comes closer to a kind Rileyesque spiritual or ambient music-a Spartan, tormented, spirituality.
The next piece ’Cleave’ has a kind of Pop /Broadway lyricism with a dark overlay—this time detuned, glissing strings. All is not right in the world. The snare/ kick entry sounds like a walk to the gallows. The strings reach a kind of siren-like wailing–it is obviously nomore....
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MCBANE, M.: Chamber Music (Place) (Build)