Thursday, July 30, 2009

Phil Kline's Daze DVD from Starkland "Fascinates"

Our Phil Kline Around the World in a Daze DVD recently received a fine review at Sequenza21. Christian Carey writes that Daze "fascinates, engages, and, often, moves." He adds, "Kline's pieces transport the hearer from their listening space to imaginary vistas that envelope, even overwhelm."

Read the full review at Sequenza21.

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Read more about this Daze DVD.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New York Times Reviews Starkland's Phil Kline "Daze" DVD

The New York Times has reviewed Phil Kline's Around the World in a Daze DVD from Starkland. Writing in the Sunday July 26 issue, Allan Kozinn notes that "the electronic experimenter" Phil Kline "is hard at work." The review is not online, but you can read it here:

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kline DVD Reviewed at American Record Guide

The new July/August 2009 issue of American Record Guide reviews our Phil Kline Around the World in a Daze DVD. We are especially pleased with this comment:
"Pennies from Heaven, an 18-minute layering of bell sounds, shows why more pieces should be recorded in surround sound. Becoming utterly engulfed by bells too numerous to count, all playing descending lines with mixed rhythms, syncopations, and stresses, borders on the mathematical sublime."
Read more about the Kline Daze DVD.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

“Imaginative” D’Arc CD Reviewed at Lucid Culture

D’Arc: woman on fire, from composer/performer Jay Cloidt and writer/singer Amanda Moody, has received a fine review from Lucid Culture:

“Like something of a hybrid of Rasputina, Diamanda Galas and This Mortal Coil, this is a timely, imaginative update on the Joan of Arc legend,” they write. “Distributed by the esteemed Starkland label... this album is as accessible as it is potently relevant.”

The full review is here.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

New York Magazine calls Phil Kline’s Daze “Sensational”

The current issue of New York Magazine covers two new-music releases: David Lang’s Pulitzer-winning The Little Match Girl Passion and Phil Kline’s Around the World in a Daze DVD. Justin Davidson (himself a Pulitzer recipient for his music criticism) notes that Kline’s surround sound piece is also “beguiling in old-fashioned stereo” and concludes that Daze is “a set of sensational études.” Here’s the Kline excerpt:

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The full review is here.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

“Extraordinary” Kline DVD Acclaimed in Vital Weekly

The latest Vital Weekly congratulates Starkland for its “extraordinary and well-documented” Around the World in a Daze DVD. Here’s the full review from Dutch writer Dolf Mulder:

Reading the name of Phil Kline means thinking back of that new wave band with the beautiful name The Del-Byzanteens, a band that also had Jim Jarmusch among its members. Their LP and singles still circulate in my house! I don't know much about Kline's later whereabouts. He profiled himself as a composer and gained success with his project 'Zippo's Song' (2004). A song-cycle based on poems written by American soldiers while fighting in Vietnam. Now he returns again with a very special project. The double dvd-audio carries a high-resolution surround sound recording, promising a very special audio experience. It took some time before I had the opportunity to undergo this experience, as my old equipment was not fashioned to play these two discs. 'Around the World in A Daze' is a song cycle in 10 episodes, lasting some 65 minutes.

From the title you may deduce that space is a keyword in this production. Recordings for this project were done all over the world. But besides Kline is very interested in the spacial aspects of music and sound. He played with these aspects by using whole sets of boomboxes for the recording of most tracks. Besides this main interest, other musical items led him by constructing ten very different works. The lengthiest piece 'Pennies from Heaven' is the one I liked most. Because of the sound and because of the structure of the piece. The same descending scale is repeated and repeated again, transposed and multiplied, etc. The constant downward movement is very imaginative and brings about a meditative state. Also the opening piece 'The Housatonic at Henry Street' fascinates because of its multilayered and detailed soundspectrum.

Other pieces use the human voice as the most important material, like 'The Wailing Wall' resurrected by the voice of Kline himself. Two other pieces have the violin in the center: 'Svarga yatra' and 'Grand Etude for the Elevation'. The beautiful concluding piece is built from field recordings done in Central Africa. Tracks differ also because for the different structuring principles that are used. But as said the pieces impress above all because of their soundqualities and spatial characteristics. Each piece is accompanied by its own series of photos. Nice photos often. From urban environments, to nature, etc, etc. But I didn't need them for enjoying the music, nor the other way around. And I couldn't bridge them in my imagination. While listening I felt a bit 'imprisoned' by looking at the same time at the pictures. Well, this also a spatial effect I guess. The second dvd has an extensive interview with Kline commenting on each piece. This gives a good insight in what Kline had in mind. Congratulations for Starkland for releasing this extraordinary and well-documented release.

Visit Vital Weekly.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Phil Kline's "Daze" DVD Reviewed at Lucid Culture

Another fine review for Phil Kline's Around the World in a Daze DVD appears today courtesy of Lucid Culture.

It begins by describing Kline as "One of this era’s most fearlessly relevant composers."

They note the DVD offers "a mix of compositions which run the gamut from challenging to confrontational to playfully fun." And they conclude: "New music fans will salivate over this."

Read the full review.

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