Nick Brooke Border Towns

Nick Brooke Border Towns
9
Anyone who's lived on international borders that have distinct bipolar identities can attest to the experience of tuning into sometimes wildly varying states of existence on the radio dial. This experience has become less potent with globalisation and the Internet, but Brooke has placed a rigorous emphasis on the possibilities, gleaned from the continental mash-ups pitting Mexican radio against NYC urbanity and Midwestern country fundamentalism. Border Towns is a stunning, surreal opera combining a vocal ensemble with a collection of samples made during visits to 11 towns scattered along the borders of the U.S. The music is a collage of extremes, much like the land it comes from, at once brutal, jarring, beautiful, extreme and ugly, all rolled into a highly cogent and succinct series of psychic travelogues. There are gestures here heard in the music of the Butthole Surfers and the Residents, while also circling the bizarre philosophies of the Church of the SubGenius. This is an at once witty and disturbing work of American Dada sensibility; Nick Brooke stands as one of America's authentically American composers. (Innova)