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Andy Milne and Benoît Delbecq

Where Is Pannonica?

(Songlines; US: 9 Jun 2009; UK: Import)

If you know Andy Milne from his beat-influenced Dapp Theory work, this collaboration with French pianist Benoît Delbecq might come as a bit of a surprise. It shouldn’t. It’s a smart pairing of two friends with complementary ideas on acoustics (especially the physical room), unusual time, and rhythm. The duo takes co-writing credit for only three songs, splitting writing duties on the other eight tracks, but Where Is Pannonica? coheres too fully to be anything more than a full partnership.


The avant garde here blends quick improvisation with extensive forethought. Delbecq’s especially known for his prepared piano, and that’s important here, too (regardless of which one’s piano has the stuff in it). He’s credited with the electronics, which largely add to the spooky atmospherics of the record, utilizing the still moments of the tracks. The time signatures here are demanding; the artists challenging themselves and pushing past my theory limits. It’s an inessential boundary to the listener, though, because what’s most memorable about this disc are its textures, its moods resulting from careful sculpting and precise interaction.

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Justin Cober-Lake lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, kids, and dog. His writing has appeared in a number of places, including Stylus, Paste, Chord, and Trouser Press. His work made its first appearance on CD with the release of Todd Goodman's first symphony, Fields of Crimson. He's recently co-founded the literary fly-fishing journal Rise Forms.


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