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TICKMAYER, STEVAN: Repetitive selective removal of one protecting group
After a long absence Stevan roars back with this dense and complex work - a rare example of a truly uncategoriseable music: neither electronic nor acoustic but somewhere in between - or outside. Taken often at impossible Nancarrow/late Zappa/Ligeti tempi, a cascade of material constantly forms and reforms into different kinds of order: fragments of New Complexity performed with a kind of rock, dance, jazz undercurrent; shards of popular musics dressed in contemporary classical and electroacoustic clothes; debris from the C20 soundworld train-wrecked together as if all possible musics had been crammed into a bag, smithereened, and then somehow self-regenerated into viable but hybrid mutant forms: a kind of Burgess Shale of emergent musical life. However, alien as some of this music may seem at first hearing, it is coherent, amazingly through-composed and wholly intentional; nothing is arbitrary and every detail counts. Microtonality, polymetricality, slicing, shuffling and extreme processing sit easily alongside atmospherics, performance, and subtle explorations of timbre and acoustic space. Perhaps it is a monster, but it is a viable monster; a form so new that it may take a few listenings just to learn how to listen to it. Order will percolate out, with attention, because it is there. It's just new - but worth the effort I think.