Robert Poss – Settings: Music for Dance, Film, Fashion and Industry

January 01, 1970

(Trace Elements)

Band of Susans, Robert Poss’ 1987-1996 group, generally sliced its wall-to-wall
guitar into song-length strips. But the group always seemed less interested in
rock than minimalism, albeit the rough-and-tumble variety of the latter devised
by massed-guitar maestros Rhys Chatham (with whom Poss has performed) and Glenn

There’s plenty of noisy guitar on Poss’ new Settings:
Music for Dance, Film, Fashion and Industry
, whose subtitle tellingly
doesn’t include rock clubs or amphitheaters. The album ends with a brief
excerpt of raucous live playing, and feedback is so common that Poss has
playfully named one composition “Feed Forward.” But a few pieces
instead feature piano or violins, and the bells and woodblocks suggest Steve
Reich more than Sonic Youth.

In other words, Settings is not for
Joe Satriani fans. But listeners with the patience — or obsessiveness, perhaps
— to appreciate Reich’s slow-building sonic structures will have no trouble
getting these 14 pieces. (Most of them have even been sliced into song-length
strips.) Whether as coolly deliberate as “Other Stories Interludes”
or as insistently churning as the first part of “With Music No. 2,”
this music is so enveloping that you won’t miss the dance, film, fashion or

DOWNLOAD: “Feed Forward,”
“With Music No. 2” MARK JENKINS

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