Boomkat Product Review:
One of the most prolific and gifted composers for strings of his generation, Eyvind Kang returns to Ideologic Organ with sublime experimental classical fusions of Eastern and Western traditions.
Leading on from last year’s ‘Chirality’, Kang cuts a more minimalist figure on ‘Ajaeng Ajaeng’ with a quietly spellbinding elision of the Sitar-like Indian Tanpura with Korean Ajaeng and their European cousin the Harpsichord. Effectively Kang extracts each from their classical functions as central to the court music of their respective places of origin, and re-frames them in a way that perfectly highlights and contrasts their stately, meditative qualities in a naturally elegant, evocative manner that transcends time and place, recalling music we love from Michael O’Shea thru Heather Leigh and Deathprod.
Drawing on a remarkable talent for conjuring essences of sound that jog the memory like scents, it’s not hard to hear why Kang continues to be highly in demand as a string arranger and player for everyone from Sunn 0))) to Joe McPhee and Laurie Anderson. In five parts he drills down to a real sensorial method of conjuring feelings, coaxing ephemeral outlines of vivid scenes between the slowly intoxicating tantra of near half hour long pieces such as ‘Tanpura & Harpsichord’ and the angular Korean Classical inflections of ‘Tanpura Study’, and the starker, jaggedly atonal terrain explored in ‘Ajaeng Ajeang’ miles away from the titular instrument’s typical use in Korean Court music, while the more concise ‘Time Medicine’ feels like we’re drifting around a tableaux beautifully depicting some eternal act of violence in super slo-mo.