Reviews and pictures from Sietse's record collection
For years I have been following the work of Gregg Kowalsky, first under his moniker Osso Bucco and later with his normal name. His break through must have been his first album on Kranky “Though the Cardinal Window” in 2006, after which a stream of releases on Root Strata, Kranky and other labels got released.
In the beginning Kowalsky was mainly active with laptop-based music (as far as I know the source of the sound) but after his first one on Kranky he switched to manipulated tape sounds. Which is since end 2006 he has been exploring.
On his latest album Battery Townsley out on the Italian label Senufo Editions run by Guiseppe Ielasi he presents us two of his tape works. On recorded live at the old bunker Battery Townsley and the other a studio mix by the same Guiseppe Ielasi.
In the tradition of his earlier tape works Kowalsky works here with various tape players situated over the room, all containing recordings of gongs, singing bowls and other drone creating instruments.
Kowalsky mixes these tapes walking through the room in such away that you are surrounded by the sound. On the LP this is mixed down to stereo which still delivers a nice stereo effect which moves you into deeper atmospheres.
The music reminds of the better work done by Eliane Radigue due to the used sounds, but at the same time is much more grainy.
On side B we find a mix of the tapes by Ielasi, which is a bit cleaner, though this doesn’t matter for the overall sound. It is a real pleasure to listen to the music. It works in a rather inspirational way without getting cheesy or new age.
Battery Twonsely is an album which shows one further step in the continues development by Gregg Kowalsky in his tape works. And it is clear he still has further grounds to explore in this one. If you never had the pleasure to hear his other work this is a great start, though the LP is only limited to 280 hand-numbered editions. So be quick to get one of the last available copies.
Listen to an excerpt of the live recording:
And buy the limited LP at the Senofo Editions website: http://www.senufoeditions.com/wordpress/?page_id=35
(I can hotlink to the samples on this side)