River Mouth Echoes reviewed by The Sound Projector

Maja S.K. Ratkje is well-known as one half of Norwegian duo Fe-Mail, whose imaginative and powerful noise recordings are always well-received at Sound Projector mansions – indeed the very term ‘noise’ is something I have always found inadequate to express the richness of her music. This is now confirmed once again as I spin the mighty River Mouth Echoes CD (TZADIK TZ 8051), which is a collection of modernist-avant compositions she’s been working on for the last ten years and have now come to fruition thanks to John Zorn’s label (it’s part of the Composer Series). Herein, some staggeringly powerful electro-acoustic experiments on which she processes the guesting musical instruments of the talented external contributors, rendering them into strange and other-worldly shapes. The title piece is 20 minutes of atonal composition scored for four viols, and it holds a convincing candle to any given piece of sheet music loosed from the Darmstadt school.

(Ed Pinsent)

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