Adam Bohman - Music and Words CD

When did you last hear a laugh out loud avant garde album? I’m hard pushed to think of any. Roland Topor’s Panic is a goodie, or some of the antics of the “Selten gehörte Musik” gang, but this is funnier, and my own personal favorite release on the label. Bohman’s approach to music has always shown a preference for the raw and unprocessed, although his 3 releases on Paradigm with Morphogenesis often use signal processing. On this CD, his first solo recording for Paradigm all the played music (except for one piece that uses slowed down and backwards sounds), are derived from the unprocessed sounds from the surfaces of a wide variety of objects that use a broken violin at its core. This CD attempts to cover the full variety of his different working practices which have been slowly evolving since the mid 80s. In particular there is a total of over 30 minutes taken from one of his many ‘talking tapes’, these tapes are made in very small editions and sent out as audio letters to other mail art correspondents (there is also an excerpt included on the first London compilation on Paradigm Discs). These tapes consist of on the spot lo-fi cassette recordings of his observations, both humorous, mundane and personal. Special attention is given to colours, signage and vernacular architectural detail, and favoured locations include: overseas visits, public toilets, restaurants and public transport, but it is the unpretentious wit and dedication that make these tapes so enduring. The sounds of the environment, the faulty recording mechanism and the frequent use of the pause button give these pieces an almost concrète, sound text feel. This ‘talking tape’ dates from Christmas, 1994. There are also 3 ‘pause pieces’ dating from 1990, which are multi-tracked, rapid collages of prerecorded sound material, also recorded on cassette recorders. This uses a similar technique (although independently developed), as that used by Anton Bruhin on his InOut CD on Alga Marghen. Finally there are 4 multi-tracked studio recordings, and one live concert recording. Crucial to all these pieces is the element of improvisation. Bohman has collaborated with a diverse cross section of improvisers, from Lol Coxhill to Joseph Hammer, and is one half of the ongoing theatre/improv duo The Bohman Brothers.