Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Drumkit Quartets actually goes well beyond the drumkit - which is to be expected, given the feverishly creative strengths of the artists behind the recording. Conceived by Wilco drummer and composer Glenn Kotche, the initial approach was to "get back to writing for percussion," he reveals in the CD's liner notes, "because I think the timbral, textural, melodic and rhythmic possibilities haven't been explored nearly enough. I try to do that through my solo performances, but I jumped at the chance to try it with such an incredible and forward-thinking group as So Percussion." The result runs the expressive gamut of percussive instrumentation, from the marimba-based "Drumkit Quartet #51" (with haiku recited by Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda) to the hand-cranked sirens that open "Drumkit Quartet #50," which channels the futurist manifesto of Luigi Russolo's "art of noise," spiced with a little John Cage and Luc Ferrari. A rich foundation of globe-trotting audio collage and third-mind improv underpins the session, making Drumkit Quartets a free-wheeling exploration of rhythm, sound, texture and timbre.
Pitchfork (Website) - "Kotche's miniatures fare quite well. Two propulsive items -- 'Drumkit Quartet #1' and 'Drumkit Quartet #54' -- are full of ingenuity as well as power."
Audio Mixers: Pat Burns; Glenn Kotche; So Percussion.
Liner Note Author: Glenn Kotche.
Recording information: The Loft, Chicago.
Editors: Pat Burns; Glenn Kotche; So Percussion.
Photographer: Zoran Orlic.
An artful collection of nine pieces composed for drum kit(s) by Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, Drumkit Quartets explores sound and texture within the kit and beyond, including a recited haiku on the marimba-centric "Drumkit Quartet #51," featuring the voice of Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto, Brooklyn Funk Essentials). Performed with expected impeccable musicianship by boundary-pushing avant-garde four-piece So Percussion, Drumkit Quartets is Kotche's third excursion into the classical realm in less than year, following his recordings of John Luther Adams: Ilmaq and Missy Mazzoli: Vespers for a New Dark Age, the latter with Lorne Dune and Victoire. Here, the compositions not only explore rhythmic expectation, pitch, timbre, and solo versus unison, but also location, as performances are conspicuously choreographed in stereo. The recording was mixed for release in both stereo and 5.1 surround. ~ Marcy Donelson