Brushed and Crushed

by Kordik / Lucas

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Daniel Kordik (analogue synthesisers: Vostok + Roland MC202) and Edward Lucas (trombone) are two London based improvisors who play together as a regular duo. They have developed a musical rapport that concentrates at times on the common unconventional ground found between the two instruments, and at other times on their histories in jazz and electronic music.

Also available from this duo, MMXII

Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Grays Inn Road
Design: Ben Polhill; Cover drawing: James Ferris
Cat no: EAR002

"The trombone and the analogue synth provide a full set of cultural resonances to destabilise, disrupt and destroy. They are avatars visiting worlds where new meaning is forged in rebellious acts of listening."
- Tony Hardie-Bick


released September 10, 2014

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R E V I E W S :
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Paul Margree, Weneednoswords

(...) Earshots’ sophomore release, by label maestros Edward Lucas and Daniel Kordik, is something much more mysterious. The duo – Lucas on trombone and Kordik on synths – conjure up vast structures that loom up out of the murk, muddy swathes of sound that are criss-crossed with itchy, writhing movement.

Listening to Brushed and Crushed is like coming across some huge ancient temple in the jungle at twilight. The architecture can’t possibly be human, and what are those creatures crawling over its crumbling terraces?

Kordik and Lucas achieve this singular aesthetic in part by combining the new and familiar. Lucas’ trombone hisses and blarts will be familiar to anyone versed in extended techniques, true, but when they’re mixed with Kordik’s electronic soundscapes, they sound utterly new.

Listen to the strangled parps and muted cries on Hector, for example, and tell me you don’t get visions of mutant hyenas crunching on the bones of astronauts.

Kordik’s electronics are pretty weird too. At least some of them seem to work by Theremin-style hand control, which results in a different type of sound than if he were playing either with a keyboard or a modular-style patch.

The characteristic sound seems to be a nightmarish shimmer, ghastly and echoing, as in Antra’s creaking wheeze, which fills the tracks with an eldritch dread. The crashing echoes at the start of Bees are another good example. They’re like a huge club smashing scrap metal to smithereens, which soon merge with Lucas’s trombones into a whirling electronic vortex.

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"Not an easy listening experience, but a most rewarding one"

KORDIK & LUCAS - BRUSHED AND CRUSHED (cassette by Earshots)
From London (at least: as far as I could tell), a duo of which I hadn't heard before: Edward Lucas on trombone and Daniel Kordik on synthesizer. They have a release on a label that is likewise new to me, Earshots Recordings. On this forty-minute cassette we find five pieces of die-hard improvisation. Not of the most careful kind, but all quite direct and in your face. The synthesizer plays strange figures, all highly abstract and not using any kind of pre-set sounds, probably some kind of modular system, while the trombone sounds like a trombone, which makes the two of them together actually quite an odd combination. It's a kind of improvisation noise; not of the kind that is all very loud and distorted but just by the sheer kind of playing their instruments: seemingly in a more or less uncontrolled manner, maybe like these have been played for the time by these players. Maybe in a kind of naive way, but no doubt this is all like an elaborate trick by these players. Not to show 'how easy' this is, but to create some music which makes you want to sit uptight and listen closely to the beauty of the beast that sometimes is the world of improvisational music. Not an easy listening experience, but a most rewarding one.

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HIS VOICE (in Czech Language)

...nakonec, ony ty syntezátory a trombón na druhé kazetě zase někdy znějí jako kontrabas, stroje, kapky vody či pískání na trávu. Je-li koncertní i album dua Kordík / Lucas, se na obalu kazety nepíše, jeho estetika je ale jasně spřízněna s tou Viltardovou. Jsem zvědav, bude-li nové vydavatelství v takové stylové sevřenosti pokračovat – ze zvuku a grafického zpracování obou alb cítím, že Earshots! Recordings touží vytvořit si jednotnou, výraznou tvář a že by se jim to mohlo podařit.

Na Brushed and Crushed jsou role obou nástrojů, byť tyto často působí poněkud chameleónsky, víceméně pevně dány. Nositelem všeho neklidu je trombón, šrapnel přefuků, často až perkusivních ruchů, výkřiků atd. Nedivil bych se, kdyby se tu na mikrofon i otvírala vasrklapka a kapaly sliny. Syntezátory se naopak často, zejména na začátku alba, omezují na jednoduchý doprovod, někdy jen na neměnný bzukot frekvencí. S každou minutou poslechu ale zjišťujeme, že tak snadné to nebude: zjistíme třeba, že do partu, který považujeme za trombónový, zazní nezaměnitelný... trombón. O tom, že by Lucas používal smyčkovače a jinou elektroniku, na obalu nic nestojí, nezbývá tedy než domnívat se, že jeden z obou trombónů obstarávají Kordíkovy syntezátory. A když duo na chvíli zazní jako průvan v opuštěné, rozpadající se ocelárně, můžeme na pokusy o rozlišení obou instrumentů zvesela zapomenout. Jejich zásnuby jsou mistrovské a tudíž zcela organické. Album složené z pěti improvizovaných tracků má jednoduchou, avšak účinnou dramaturgii: neúprosně graduje, aby se v posledním čísle vrátilo k počátečnímu (relativnímu) klidu a odlišitelnosti hlasů.


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