In a tandem review (here), I mention that Marco Oppedisano's earlier work was a preparation for the much more intense later releases, this release, The Ominous Corner, being a cast-in-lead demonstration of that. Coming three years after Electroacoustic Compositions for Electric Guitar, it sheds the oblique furnituresgue, albeit not very Satie-ish at all, aspects of the more atmospheric Nonesuch evocations for an art-damage franticity and steely density. Oppedisano claims Frith, Ribot, and Torn as axe-wielding influences, but in truth he moves way beyond those cats—Cityscape, for one, has heavily Rypdalian passages—to join the fringe of Keneally, Bergeron (with whom he's worked), 60s noise-electro-avant pioneers, and others.
Cityscape, however, is a chambered armoire of just what the listener is in for. It screams, bends, twists, chugs, and flies through constant metamorphoses, roiling and steaming as a stressed electric guitar wails and rolls. The overall sound is very indicative of some of Cage's early work as well as Stockhausen's—after, that is, a terribly conflicted meeting with a progrock battalion heading for Stygian shores. As opposed to Electroacoustic, which was completely bereft of a live presence, Oppedisano is now shredding and sonically lyricizing above a din pre-composed and set to juggernauting.
Don't get me wrong, there are contrastively "silent" passages, stretches where an eerie diminution of the clatter and of all those falling buildings occurs, where a sense of uneasy calm prevails to give momentary rest—Imaginary Portal, for instance, opens in what could easily be the midnight fields in which Penderecki's electronic insects go about their nocturnal duties—but one is never entirely reassured in these events, never confident that either hell or a far-flung future of unimaginable construction have in any way really abated. The cut remains in situ, sliding between fascinating surreality and anticipation, a fretting hope that all is not for naught, but that, as well as the rest of what I cite above, is, of course, the oft-nerve-fraying charm of such composers as he, and of painters like Dali and the Surrealist/Fauvist/Cubist/Futurist gents: they pull up the epidermis of reality and point to what's really happening. Look away and it just might continue.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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