Stella Silbert and Nat Baldwin’s "01.30.22" starts with a disorienting and curt mixture of vinyl static, chopped and skewed mysterious acoustic guitar strings, and a loud, acoustic “thud”. It’s an introduction to a strange piece of music from a strange album by two fascinating players in the current improvised and contemporary music landscape. This first piece, “5”, warbles and wobbles its way though oddly lyrical passages, framed in sporadic collaged format by the rapidly cut pitch-shifted classical guitar emanating from Silbert’s prepared turntable, pockmarked with abrasive static. Baldwin’s breathy, thick, and textured double bass playing wonderfully compliments such engaging sounds, while both voices allow one another to breathe freely. This is a consistent feeling throughout the album: one is allowed to breathe and mentally wander throughout these sounds. Despite their intensity, they are never exhausting. (Quite literally, one can hear Baldwin’s labored breath throughout the recording.) Notice became aware of Silbert’s work via the incredible duo Beige, with Liam Kramer-White, and here on "01.30.22", one can similarly hear the unique approach to timbre, dynamic, and pacing. Baldwin runs the much-loved Tripticks Tapes, and has roots in both improvised music and song-based work, with a number of solo albums on Western Vinyl. His plucked, bowed, scraped or otherwise altered double bass exists as an adaptable and amorphous hinge throughout the performances; facilitating movements of sounds both horizontally and vertically, simultaneously closing and opening segments. The duo’s interplay and dynamic is deeply exciting and presents a fresh and weird sound in free improvisation.
Notice Recordings started in Chicago in 2009. We are now based in Kingston, NY, and Columbia, MO. We release experimental and contemporary sound works. Notice Recordings is run by Evan Lindorff-Ellery (NY) and Travis Bird (MO).
My humanities professor showed me this piece and i cannot stop coming back to it. Something deep and alluring of this piece keeps me wanting more. Absolutely one of my favorite cuts from last year. Ra!