Squidco’s The Squid’s Ear review section just published this fine review of ARVIND GANGA & RICCARDO MAROGNA’s BALLADS FROM THE WRECKED SHIP. Read it here. The album is still available from our store or through our bandcamp.
“A captivating collection of duo improvisations for electric guitar and objects, reeds and electronics. As with much great free music, it’s often hard to tell exactly what’s going on here, as these gentlemen are adept at creating their own little sonic world. There is much adherence to drones, which stand like detailed walls with occasional framing showing through.
The opener, “Oed’ und leer das Meer”, begins with small quick scrabbling before slipping into a chordal drone, out of which grow short melodic lines. Another drone then manifests out of this and grows slowly more insistent until it starts to fracture, leaving a hollow sheen. More electronics are in evidence during “Chozodia”, with its stop and start, loud/soft modus. Tickletickle BAM. “The Limp Leaves Waited For Rain…” sounds for all the world like a warped jazz record with near-inaudible cracklings underneath, before morphing into a low drone with changing overtones. For brief moments a tonal center is suggested, pretty chords passing like mile-markers with the whole enterprise gathering momentum until it aches. “Phantoon” has gorgeous tumbling bristles with rushing air and slight metallic overburden, hissing static and oh-so-slight flinty string ringing. Repeated banging intrudes with much pithy comment from outside.
Though these pieces do occasionally remind me of other improv records I’ve known and loved, I can’t think of anything I can readily compare them to as a whole. A quote in the liner notes here alludes to how lazily the term “abstract” is lobbed at art or music, when in fact this work is nothing of the sort. This music is the result of very concrete practices, brought lovingly into focus.”