Gino Robair Solo Drums with Ebow

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Gino Robair has a decidedly different philosophical approach to the solo percussion album. The sonic results, while guided by Robair as a performer, are revealed to his ears in much the same way as they are the listener. The act of listening to this performance demands the same discipline and curiosity that animate this music, often punishing more casual ears along the way. For those who haven't explored the legato-sustained tones generated by electric guitarists using an Ebow, the electronic bow is a hand-held electronic device that uses a magnetic field to stimulate a string. On this recording, Gino Robair applies the Ebow to a street-sweeper blade or short lengths of guitar strings placed on the head of a tom or snare. This source is then recorded with a single microphone and no additional processing is applied. Robair's interaction with the instrument is minimal beyond physical placement — the sounds set in motion become a study in acoustics and curiously unstable vibrations. The physical dimensions of the drum take on a larger-than-life quality, as the resonant spaces within are left exposed for long durations. There's austere beauty to this abrasive music, in much the same way there is in the craters of the moon. It's a sonic journey reserved for the adventurous that relish the solitude of such exotic locales, and don't require a great deal of oxygen. (Bug Incision, www.bugincision.com) Devin Hurd