John Kameel Farah and Attila Fias Pieces of the Earth

John Kameel Farah and Attila Fias Pieces of the Earth
A couple of years ago, John Kameel Farah's "Unfolding" made sure the "I" in IDM was written in 72-point boldface, with its insane, baroque keyboard and electronic compositions. This new release sees him paired with equally pyrotechnic pianist Attila Fias and their incredible dexterity is much more than mere flash. With two pianos you get double the majestic chords, twice the number of contrapuntal runs and infinitely more possibilities for atmospheric effects. If you were trying to assign a genre as a starting point, most likely it would be European classical music of the 19th and 20th centuries, but upon further investigation, the duo's eclecticism questions any idea of foundation. Hints of jazz, Middle Eastern modes and even heavy metal inform the playing. The titles are descriptive of the sonic approaches: "Fluttering" is just that; "Space Dervish" has a hypnotic twirl; and closer "Plumes" is volcanically active. Brief improvisations add welcome relief, in the form of non-linear interludes between these driving compositions. You've never heard a piano duo like this. (Independent)