Author Topic: Robert! Scott! Thompson! Get in here right now!! Or the tongue lashing of VW  (Read 11482 times)

Infraction

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Spotted in this week's Vital Weekly...

ROBERT SCOTT THOMPSON - POESIS ATHESIS (CD by Lens Records)
Sometimes people wonder why we review everything we get. Well, perhaps because
that's easier than having to explain in private e-mails why we don't review
stuff. Here's two examples which complete went by me. Vital Weekly is not for
this kind of music. First we have Robert Scott Thompson, who composed a piece
for 'Chi Kung Master Terrence Dunn [...] to work especially with the pace, mood
and dynamics of the Flying Phoenix form of Chi Kung'. I really can't relate to
any of this, but its about choreography, never my thing. The music sound like a
very third rate piece of ambient. new age drivel to me. Pseudo ethnic
percussion, melancholic piano chords, rattling of bells in a wash of reverb.
Yuk. 'A personal homage to Erik Satie'. Yeah right. Very thin, very pathetic and
very much over the top. (Frans De Waard)

Ouch.  Any dissenting opinions?

Jason
infractionrecords.com

onnow : Roger Eno - Between Tides

jim brenholts

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Yes, I dissent. I think that this is a very nice CD. Robert's intellectual approach to music is often misinterpreted as arrogant and stuffy. I have communicated with him frequently and have found that it is merely his way of conveying his musical muse, if you will.

(Could you please explain how the title of this thread relates to the content?)
all the best and God bless
jim
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Ben Fleury-Steiner

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It seems strange to react in any way to a Franz review--truth be told, even some of the postive ones get my ire up (although he has a keen historical knowledge of the genre that often surprises)--anyway, taking issue w/ a Franz review is analog to persuading a vegan to the virtues of bloody, rare (delicious) fillet mignon.

I picture Franz as a cigar chomping, long bearded mad man chained to a laptop surrounded by a mound of broken jewel cases and empty Heineken bottles resting atop scratched cds that have become the man's coaster of choice.

We send our stuff to him because he's always writing (f'ing the fastest turnaround bar none) and for some strange and inexplicable reason seems to like our stuff...But mostly I await his reviews for hope of one of his brilliant non sequiturs  ;)   i.e.,  "I've never heard of this artist..blah, blah, blah...we've never received a thing from him, although he has 30+ releases...[reader: wonder if he'll like it? ...but wait...] "No mention of how this was recorded or whether this is even a carbon based life form...nonetheless, a fine piece of drone." 

When seeking out insight on where to burn more $$ on discs--even if I'm 30+ behind in my listening-- I'm much more likely to hit up mssr. Lockett or Bergstein..And for jazz, I take to Downbeat as they review nearly every ECM release and it's nice to have 5 different opinions on a single disc...

But to the subject at hand:  I LOVE everything by RST so I doubt I'd agree with FdW on this one.  By the sounds of it, I look forward to listening. ;)

B

kreutzfeldt

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i agree with ben except for the cigar+beard part:

http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?artist=Frans+de+Waard

Infraction

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(Could you please explain how the title of this thread relates to the content?)

Sort of like, you knew you were in hot water when your parents inserted your middle name before ripping into you about whatever it was you did wrong.  I imagine Frans as paternal critic, sticking his head out the window and beckoning Robert to come inside to get a tongue lashing over his newest recording.

Plus it was early when I posted the review  :)

De Waard's reviews are not what I use to guide my listening or buying - but the VW coverage is a treasure trove of obscure recordings.  I think it's entertaining when there is something that Frans fawns over as well as what he trashes.

Jason
infractionrecords.com

Undershadow

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I certainly dont dissent with Franz de Waard in terms of opinion on this one, but, like Ben, Im no fan of FdW's reviewing style, which is invariably thin on proper description and appraisal, perhaps understandably in view of his keeping up with a frightening volume of music with regular updates to VW. I have to admit that, in a world full of anodyne writing about music in which criticality is notable by its paucity, and so many critics are loathe to give voice to something negative in their appraisals, I did appreciate reading FdWs dyspeptic dismissal, though I do recognise its insufficiency as a review.
To be fair to RST, FdW is a bit of a wild frontiersman of the gritty ambient-noise-pop-experimental underground, and as such is totally the wrong guy to review a sickeningly well-mannered collection of over-polished parlour piano plonk, insipid rhythmic pitty-patter, limp Landscape-channel Adult-Oriented Ambient pleasantries and sub-ethno blandishments  ;)



Bill Binkelman

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I certainly dont dissent with Franz de Waard in terms of opinion on this one, but, like Ben, Im no fan of FdW's reviewing style, which is invariably thin on proper description and appraisal, perhaps understandably in view of his keeping up with a frightening volume of music with regular updates to VW. I have to admit that, in a world full of anodyne writing about music in which criticality is notable by its paucity, and so many critics are loathe to give voice to something negative in their appraisals, I did appreciate reading FdWs dyspeptic dismissal, though I do recognise its insufficiency as a review.
To be fair to RST, FdW is a bit of a wild frontiersman of the gritty ambient-noise-pop-experimental underground, and as such is totally the wrong guy to review a sickeningly well-mannered collection of over-polished parlour piano plonk, insipid rhythmic pitty-patter, limp Landscape-channel Adult-Oriented Ambient pleasantries and sub-ethno blandishments  ;)


Gee,  Alan. Don't beat around the bush. Tell us how you really feel.  ;D

darren bergstein

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To be fair to RST, FdW is a bit of a wild frontiersman of the gritty ambient-noise-pop-experimental underground, and as such is totally the wrong guy to review a sickeningly well-mannered collection of over-polished parlour piano plonk, insipid rhythmic pitty-patter, limp Landscape-channel Adult-Oriented Ambient pleasantries and sub-ethno blandishments  ;)


whoa...that's tellin' 'im, alan!  ;)

lest we all get into the whole "entitled to opinion & agree/disagree" schism that results in so much time-wasting, i'll chime in that i've known frans for nigh on 16+ years, and i'm frankly amazed how the guy even finds time to do way out things like eat or sleep. he's a musician, writer, label-owner/operator, installation artist, and god knows what else. i personally find his 'vw' writing specious at best, 'though it should be known that english isn't exactly his native tongue (hence the often broken (beat?) speech and lack of proper syntax/pronunciative inaccuracies that often dog his reviews). somehow he manages to cover a truly *mountainous* amount of music, although i suspect (pure conjecture on my part) that he doesn't give most of these recordings thorough, or even multiple, listens.

i personally found his rst review amusing in numerous ways - at least he was honest enough to proclaim the disc 'non-vw' material, yet review it anyway (however flip the review was). frans' own voice comes through loud & clear, as he's pretty much a no-nonsense kind of guy...again, though, i think that due to the sheer volume of recordings considered he takes something of a 'churn 'em / burn 'em' approach.

frankly, i'd rather discuss the merits of his numerous sound projects (beequeen, kapotte muziek, freiband, goem, etc.), but, of course, that's (throbbing) gristle for a whole other thread entirely...


mgriffin

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I'm very glad Frans does what he does, and I believe there's room for all different kinds of reviewers, but I'd agree that generally the Vital Weekly reviews seem to have been written in a hurry.  Generally FdW has been very favorable to Hypnos releases so I say this without any sense of having received any unfair treatment from that direction.

Also he's one of those reviewers who can write a review that makes you think, as you read it, "Hmm, he didn't like this much, did he?" only to get to the end and see the words "highly recommended" or something like that.

I haven't heard the RST album on Lens so I have no idea whether it really is thin & uninspired, or if it's just the sort of thing one wouldn't expect anybody at VW to enjoy at all... or both.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

jim brenholts

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i had not heard of vital weekly or france de ward until now. answered my question.
he asked for dissenting opinions so i gave mine. every reviewer has a right to their own opinion and style.
all the best and God bless
jim
www.rigelorionis.com

Undershadow

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He (Frans de Waard) didn't ask for dissenting opinions. It was his review text that Jason posted and asked what peeps thought. No-one said you didn't have right to your opinion or thought. Naturally you do, however wrong it might be  ;)




Bill Binkelman

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Play nice now, boys. ::)