Amy Denio – Chickenhawks Ought Not

(Spoot Music)

Equipped with a Line6 delay modeller, Amy Denio recorded these 24 minutes of improvisations in 2002. No instrument but her voice: superimposed, pitch transposed and occasionally altered, instant results of intuitions born in a particular moment and burnt on CDR.

The first thing that one notices — apart from a vocal charm that no processing device will ever be able to let us forget — is Denio’s purpose of keeping herself well within the limits of harmonic suitability. Pieces such as the opening “Epic Loop” and — especially — “Dreamy Loop” utilize a concoction of droning, if slightly wavering backgrounds and unperturbedly intoxicated thematic reiteration, producing a crossbreed of native American-cum-Tuva chanting with a peculiar kind of lysergic trance. “Rhythmic Pingpong” reorganizes things according to different geometric shapes rich in details and minutiae, gifted with nicety to spare. Other tracks — see the spoken whirlwind of “English As A Second” — are mere oddities without any artistic consequence.

Taken as it is — a curiosity of sorts — this is an amusing listen whose perfume lasts more or less like that of an incense stick. In terms of historical relevance, also due to the weight of the years affecting the inventive freshness, the disc is obviously not on the same level. Still, it never hurts the ears, containing at least a couple of petite gems.

 

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