Samstag, 20. April 2013

NIGEL BUNN - index

Nigel Bunn is a shadowy figure from the periphery of New Zealand's underground music scene; until now his output has been limited to a couple of tracks on obscure compilation albums. He's better known in Dunedin, his hometown, as a polymath who paints, photographs, makes experimental films, and helps organize art exhibits. Index is culled from years of varied musical experiments. The title track is a stirring fanfare for a looped piano phrase overlaid with distant trumpets. Several paradoxically tranquil pieces are woven from threads of guitar feedback. Others feature percolating antique electronics. Two sullen organ interludes impart an aura of dread, but Bunn's recitations of fragmentary texts in a filtered and sped-up voice are the most disorienting element of all. The album is deftly sequenced so that its disparate elements flow together like a surreal film that one could watch many times without extracting all of its secrets. (Bill Meyer)

Nigel has rooms full of old machines. Many of them found their way onto this album. He’s also a visual artist (mostly pencil and watercolor), a cinematographer and a photographer, developing his own films and photos in his flat in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Anyone that’s heard his music no doubt first became familiar with him via the seminal New Zealand compilation Killing Capitalism with Kindness (1992). His contribution “Goodbye God Baby Goodbye” (included in this collection) set the world on end for just over two minutes. It’s a disorienting and exhilarating listen, with primitive computer gurgles and plinked guitar set alongside Nigel’s disturbingly droll vocals. Besides a couple more compilation appearances and a rare lathe cut 7” EP, nothing else was released by Mr. Bunn.
Alastair Galbraith (Emperor Jones’ resident Pacific Rim A&R dude) coaxed/tricked Nigel into assembling a double album of his work, and the result is this impressive body of work Nigel calls Index. It’s largely instrumental and a good bit of it is loop-based, with pulsating guitar songs. But ultimately all of his music is simply beautiful and his vision alone. (Emperor Jones)

Nigel Bunn is a solitary avantgarde musicians from Dunedin, New Zealand.Index (Emperor Jones, 1999) is a generous collection which spans several years of his career. His art is generally built on loops of treated instruments with a penchant for ambient and industrial cliches (long steady drones, metallic timbres, ripetitive figures). He sits somewhere between Stars Of The Lid and Roy Montgomery, but also rather close to composers such as Harry Partch and John Cage. Patterns of electronics and guitars mold the ambient celtic music of Index and Beam, where fragments of melody are awash in methodically repeated sound effects. Goodbye God Baby Goodbye is a short surreal piece for two cartoon-like voices, a gently strummed guitar and a bebop trumpet.Rusty And Iron Green's whirling raga is played on a dissonant guitar scale.Katzenjamer's mini-symphony for languid guitar feedback may be the album's strongest ambient track. The World Of Spirits is the ultimate feast of Bunn's bizarre tones, albeit a tad too long. Elsewhere, Bunn indulges in sound experiments of a more dadaist kind, which bring to memory electronic composers such as Gordon Mumma and Robert Ashley. While naif and, all in all, outdated, these pieces (Striartum is the longest) transfer those techniques into the humbler setting of do-it-yourself music. Bunn is the quintessential eccentric, expressing the deepest emotions of his soul through a cryptic and unorthodox language. (Piero Scaruffi @ the history of rock music)

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