Monday, 24 May 2010

LIZ ALLBEE – Theseus Vs.


The woman has dabbled with people of the calibre of Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, Gino Robair and Rova, usually expressing herself through voice, trumpet and electronics. She’s also known as Luz Alibi (the card inside the silkscreened box says “Luz Alibi – Theseus Vs. The Ship Of Fools”). Oh, well. The work lasts circa 35 minutes subdivided in twelve tracks, some of them extremely concise at less than a minute. A slightly twisted absurdist mood constantly affects the songs – because these are songs, apart from a handful of anarchic digressions – so that the overall feeling is one of undeniable originality, something that is indeed difficult to compare to theoretically related stuff that I’ve heard (a whiff of Residents, perhaps?).

My problem is that this semi-perverted amusement runs parallel to a lack of really momentous intensity; maybe this is the artist’s actual intention. Mostly revolving about trouble-free rhythmic scansions, electronically misshapen small noises and not excessively challenging instrumental configurations - repeatedly subjected to additional transformations via pitch-shifting devices and other cheaper kinds of effect - this music belongs to the colourful list of materials that sound aurally enjoyable for a change, without remaining engraved in the memory. When the hyper-processing deforming mask comes down, what’s visible is enough for pronouncing the word “oddity”, but that’s all. The talent is definitely there, though, and we would love to see it utilized for more substantial projects.