Sunday, May 15, 2011
Earn - Performance - Ekhein
Live tape from Ekhein main-man Matt Sullivan's Earn project. Live tapes are always a gamble but the consistent quality of Earn material so far was a good enough endorsement for me to pick this one up. The recording on the A-side is truly a stunner, easily the most powerful Earn track to date. Although the audio is certainly lo-fi, the energies of the space and of the audience are felt -- something I was not expecting from a performance of music so abstract. But the B-side feels unfortunately like filler. This is in part due to the remarkable strength of the A-side, but it also stumbles in a few places that live recordings usually do. In contrast to the constant upward lift and layering of the A-side, the piece on the B relies on stasis and immersion -- and though this kind of material is handled excellently in other Earn recordings, the chatty crowd and clinking of beer bottles are really detriments, in my opinion, as is the relative lo-fidelity of the audio. So that's laying it all out -- really outstanding A-side, fine B-side.