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Place, Music of Matthew McBane

Album Summary

>McBane, Matthew : Behavior Patterns, for ensemble
>McBane, Matthew : Dissolve, for violin, cello, piano, bass & drums
>McBane, Matthew : Ride, for ensemble
>McBane, Matthew : Swelter, for cello, piano & drums
>McBane, Matthew : Cleave, for ensemble
>McBane, Matthew : Anchor, for bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>McBane, Matthew : Maintain, for ensemble
Ensemble Composer
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Notes & Reviews:

Build is a Brooklyn-based, indie classical chamber rock band whose influences include classical chamber music, art rock, minimalism, electronic music, modal jazz and American fiddle music. Their full-length debut LP is divided loosely into three chapters of three tracks each. In addition to pieces for their standard set-up of violin, cello, piano, bass and drums, the album includes a trio for cello, piano and drums (Swelter) and a quintet (Anchor) that uses extensive arco bass, and substitutes vibraphone and concert bass drum for the drum set. Throughout Place's 60 minutes, the ensemble traverses a wide range of sonic landscapes, from driving rhythmic passages, to delicate pointillistic textures, to entrancing drones and meditations.



Reviews

Place by Build-- Music of Matt McBane New Amsterdam Records
A profusion of new Post-post-minimalism is pouring out from this Brooklyn based labela whole new generation of hipsters who might find the music of Riley, Part Andreiessen Reich, Adams, Gordon, Glass, Marshall, and Torke all a bit pass. Matt McBanes band, Build, is very representative of that tectonic shift. The 1st piece, Behavior Patterns, starts as a canonic, pizz. fest not unlike earlier 60s Polish aleatoric music --only here there is a groove. What makes it doubly shocking is the jarring harmonic modulations introduced by Dave Brubeckish piano chords. Just as it seems to drift into what can be described a more a jazzy sound (probably emanating from the acoustic walking bass) suddenly many strange unison doublings appear at the end. The piece is strangely very stark while maintaining a Feldmanesque lightness and whimsy. The next piece, Dissolve, finds its roots in an Addreissen/Gordon/ Langish world only it is for full throttle rock band playing punkish, prog-rock. Again there is something resembling the Poles (Penderecki/Lutoslawski) in the strings--last I checked McBane isnt a polish name. This again has harsh juxtapositions, yet again formally very whimsical. The 3rd piece, Ride, is like a found artifact of a simple pop progression analogues to Andy Warhol soap cans. With expressive string melodies overtop, this is really wacked stuff ---like a demo for a laundry detergent commercial written by a homicidal maniac. Pure, nihilistic, genius. The 1st movement of the 3 part Swelter introduces more Dave Brubeck over Penderecki ominous stringsI cant get enough of this crazed stuff! It gradual moves into a kind of Brazilian samba then more canonic patternsmore shocking modulations---a la Max Reger/Faure/Scriabin. This is followed by a long transitional, heavily metered, Brazilian section that leads to the strongest climax in the CD (piano octave melody). Very, very powerful. In the second movement, the groove from minimalism is replaced with almost French impressionism (nice wind chime imitation by the pianist). This formally, is not far from Bartoks Night Music. Musically, its a million miles away. This is a really beautiful movement with none of the stinky wrong note austerity one might associate with Feldmanesque wrong note music. Here, McBane has found a unique harmonic resting place between Chopin and Andrew L. Webber--which is not a bad thing. Its musically very convincing. The final movement has more Andressian austerity meets 7th chord Brubeck coolness. Here again, it is more of a rock ensemble and is more Reichian than the previous works but clearly not Steve Reich. This comes closer to a kind Rileyesque spiritual or ambient music- a Spartan, tormented, spirituality. The next piece Cleave has a kind of Pop /Broadway lyricism with a dark overlaythis time detuned, glissing strings. All is not right in the world. The snare/ kick entry sounds like a walk to the gallows. The strings reach a kind of siren-like wailing it is obviously not going to end well. Its is very high concept, but also really works. The ending is the opening Chopin funeral March theme with R+B flourishes. The penultimate piece, Anchor, has the return of nasty strings with demonic-like intrusions, with vibes doing the Brubeck chords, while the piano plays the canonic patterns. There is renaissance quality in the simplicity of the material and presentation. This is followed by a faster, more aggressive section, canonic material with reductive /additive patterns. A mystery timpani tremolo harkens the return of the opening. This again has the formal ring of Bartok Night Music. The final work, Maintain, opens with a tipped hat to music for 18 instruments and other minimalist icons with its repeated 8th notes. ---Only here its an uncharacteristic large rock-like build to a climax and a fade. To summarize, This CDs pop /prog-rock sensibility, would even give Philip Glass a rash. The reusing of similar material and techniques from piece to piece never gets old, in fact, it coalesces into a very recognizable, McBane style. This is clearly music of a new generation of minimalists who are not only immersed in the North American pop world but are also into a kind of iTunes eclecticism. They borrow from history not in a postmodern hey look at me Im quoting history way- but integrate various genres, historical styles, and techniques deeply into the raison dtre of the music. This is the new stuff to quote Peter Gabriel, and this is clearly not Kansas to misquote the Wizard of Oz. This is great stuff to quote myself.
Submitted on 05/21/11 by Mike Maguire 
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Works Details

>McBane, Matthew : Behavior Patterns, for ensemble
  • Ensemble: Build
  • Running Time: 6 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>McBane, Matthew : Dissolve, for violin, cello, piano, bass & drums
  • Ensemble: Build
  • Running Time: 4 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>McBane, Matthew : Ride, for ensemble
  • Ensemble: Build
  • Running Time: 5 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>McBane, Matthew : Swelter, for cello, piano & drums
  • Ensemble: Build
  • Running Time: 19 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>McBane, Matthew : Cleave, for ensemble
  • Ensemble: Build
  • Running Time: 7 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>McBane, Matthew : Anchor, for bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
  • Ensemble: Build
  • Running Time: 10 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>McBane, Matthew : Maintain, for ensemble
  • Ensemble: Build
  • Running Time: 8 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary