Avantgarde improvised music is a really difficult affair to deal with. Terms like ?texture? and ?complexion? are easy at hand. But avantgarde music does not often evoke any emotions to me. It sometimes does when there?s tiny bits of harmony hidden in walls of noise or when the players interact so well with each other that you just can?t escape the energy flowing about.
Unfortunately, ?Iland? by the two Australians Anthea Caddy on cello and Thembi Sodell on sampler does not contain any of the qualities mentioned above. The album uses the regular schemes of contrast and dissonance found on so many other improv albums, but not in a very successful manner. There are large chunks of near silence, for example at the beginning of the third tune and in the middle of the fourth tune. On the third one, the silence is abruptly ended by a wave of cellosonics. On the fourth one, the electronic noise comes slowly and culminates in several minutes of cello scraping. Track five also starts out with almost nothing and weaves in some single strands of high pitched cello notes. While all of this is probably excellently played and contains references to all important avantgarde composers, the appeal of it all stays in the shade. 3/10 -- Stephan Bauer (10 April, 2007)