Boomkat Product Review:
First ever vinyl reissue of the sole masterwork by Croatian composer Martin Davorin Jagodic, taking shape as a sort of psychoacoustic sci-fi soundtrack trip recalling to us everything from the La Jetée soundtrack to Annea Lockwood’s naturalistic sensitivities, Basil Kirchin’s Worlds Within Worlds, Stockhausen’s electronic pieces, or the hypnagogic sound poetry of Luc Ferrari - his sometime collaborator.
‘Tempo Furioso’ remains the only full length testament to Jagodic’s wonderfully open-ended experimentation with electro-acoustic layering and abstract storytelling. Executed with inception like results, the 1975 release was part of a seminal tranche on Cramps Records, where it appeared alongside works from Alvin Lucier, John Cage, Robert Ashley, Costing Mieraneau which effectively broke ground with orchestral and avant classical terrain and properly committed to the possibilities of electronics.
The artist himself describes the work in elemental terms “wood creaking, wind blowing, as well as lines connecting us with the outside world, far away as it might be (radio stations, for instance)” which ring true with the results, but only covers half the story. In the first part he follows a fine contour from near silence to cacophony, rendering thizzing electronic timbres elided with nature sounds that grow in abstraction, accreting stray radio waves and tidal sounds that lull into a strange state of mind evoking Chris Marker’s La Jetée soundtrack and Luc Ferarri’s subtle cut-ups (it should be noted Jagodic played on the rehearsal tapes of Ferrari’s ‘Atelier De Libération De La Musique’ and also ‘Labyrinthe de Violence’) before the feeling of gyring weightlessness is hard to ignore in the piece’s lush flux of radio fractals and zonked roil.
The chaos of the first part’s finale is explored more vigorously on the other side, deploying discordant organ vamps, severed German language voices and passages of Shakepearean dialogue that conjure all sorts of drama on the mind’s eye, reminding us of Basil Kirchin’s Worlds Within Worlds at times, as well as early radio plays and Stockhausen, but guided by a singular logic that, in the best sense, will take multiple plays to unravel.