Improv & Avant-Garde: Year in Review 2010

Improv & Avant-Garde: Year in Review 2010
ANBB Mimikry (Raster-noton)
Almost everything about Mimikry, the lauded collaboration between electro-acoustic wunderkind Alva Noto and former Bad Seeds guitarist Blixa Bargeld, is unsettling. The instrumentals skitter, hiss, and pop into an industrial-tinged desolation that perfectly captures the striking grey-scale cover art, while Blixa's warm yet detached vocals present different characters in each track, somewhere between "The Wasteland" by T.S. Eliot and "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles. Every track is a vignette of alienation and despair. One of the album's defining tracks, their cover of Harry Nilsson's classic "One," is even more melancholy than Aimee Mann's noted rendition. The warbling feline mimicking from famed '60s model/actress Veruschka brings this remarkable album to a climax along with Alva Noto's dilapidated organ and white noise instrumental, after which Blixa asks, "What is this? Where am I?" Indeed.
Alan Ranta