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Dominy Clements
MusicWeb International, October 2012

Presented in a nice clamshell box and with very decent documentation, this release presents a wide selection of works produced at DIEM from 1987 to 2012.

There are many fascinating sounds to be heard on these two CDs…Daniel Rothman’s Southwest Sky is one such work, an airy and free-spirited collection of kaleidoscopic lines…

Grander ambitions in Fuzzy’s Electric Gardens and Their Surroundings send us into a world of richness…a grandiloquent and intensely energetic piece of work. Echoes of Frank Zappa mixed with one or other kind of acid is the order of the day in Puzzleweasel/Richard Devine’s striking Mad Bonce, but Per Nørgård has us more on the edge of our seats with the fascinating Årsfrise-91, an extract from a multi-layered project originally conceived as Kalendermusik, originally about 8 hours’ worth of semi-autonomous electronic tone generators. They should release it as an MP3 file.

On to CD 2…the project is an interesting one, involving the re-mixing of a pioneering 1958 work, Syv cirkler (seven circles) by Else Marie Pade. Michael Nyvang’s impressive Collage IV, Corona manipulates sounds sourced from a piano…Line Tjørnhøj-Thomsen,’s Lauria…can be both exquisitely expressive and painful at the same time. This piece has an attractively intuitive and literally tongue-in-cheek feel and is very much worth persisting with.

I love the desperate cartoon world of Jørgen Teller’s Sparklings…Chilling nuances and nicely transformed noises also inhabit Sofus Forsberg’s Homework, which has an admirably surprising ending. The final track is Rasmus Lunding’s On Learning How to Kill, which is powerfully cinematic.

This is a fascinating compilation of work from Denmark’s DIEM studios, and with a majority of good work…this is something which stimulates and educates. This is not a closed and intolerant environment however, and there is an openness and eclecticism to many of these composer’s approaches which allows for its own confluences and juxtapositions of influence and style; always something which gives rise to new avenues of discovery. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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