dave phillips - live aktion 011116

CDR, 2002, Tochnit Aleph, Berlin.   Sold Out



Dave Phillips live, or Dave Phillips live and then edited? I don’t know. Are those mouth noises on turntable, or mouth noises and turntable, or both? I don’t know that either. A close look reveals that Phillips’ style is dissimilar from Eb.er’s, but certainly related. The ‘attack’ style of editing is less punching and stabbing here than it is recurring orchestra motifs. Phillips might be the Alban Berg to Eb.er’s Schoenberg, a slight easing up on the hard math (so who gets to be Webern?). Like his previous two full-lengths, this is beautiful and, I think, soulful experimental music, but experimental in the sense of testing or analyzing something, not hitting it with a hammer to see if it breaks. Very few of the characteristic ‘SLAM!’s until minute 9 (out of a 15 minute disc). The Bigfoot recording on Stomach Ache comes to mind sometimes. Also unlike Eb.er, Phillips can’t seem to resist going for a BIG! finish. The ‘audience’ sounds miles away, in an editing sense, not emotionally! This is a primer for those wishing to unlock the beautiful mysteries of his ‘III+’ and ‘IIII’ full-lengths, which, though I named the latter one of the best 15 discs of last year, I admit are still a bit beyond my comprehension.

(Christopher M. Sienko)