FAME Review: Ernesto Diaz-Infante - At the KSE 6th Anniversary Concert
Ernesto Diaz-Infante - At the KSE 6th Anniversary Concert

At the KSE 6th
Anniversary Concert

Ernesto Diaz-Infante

Available from the Kendra Steiner Editions web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

True artful noise music is not the easiest commodity to find. There's no end, though, of near-misses, sheer mediocrity, and stuff that makes you jump up to see if the kitchen Insinkerator accidentally clicked on and is devouring the sideboards. There's LOTS of that stuff, but aesthetically wrought noise-music? Not easy to find, and that's why Ernesto Diaz-Infante's latest, a documentation of a live solo/trio gig, is a strange pleasure. The 'KSE' of 'KSE 6th Anniversary Concert' is not a radio station but an acronym for Kendra Steiner Editions, a label, and Ernesto was flown in from Texas to San Francisco to bring the three-day celebration of the imprint and its artists to a close, the capstone to a long weekend of highly creative works.

Ernesto holds a Masters in Fine Arts and has performed in Europe and the U.S., been broadcast internationally, awarded residencies at the Centre International de Recherche Musicale, The Millay Colony for the Arts, Villa Montalvo, The Ucross Foundation, and others, and has released a number of CDs solo and in ensemble. His instrument of choice is the bajo sexto, a Mexican guitar with 12 strings in 6 double courses. Naturally, his particular axe is amplified and distorted by various means, and sounds a lot more like a synthesizer from Mars than something that might be found in, say, ranchero, norteno, or Tex-Mex gigs in Coahuila, Sinaloa, or even El Paso. Therefore, don't imagine something like Segovia going trovador, instead think about Bailey, Frith, Reichel, Sharrock, and the perimeter bad boys of experimental guitar playing.

Live at KSE starts with a loooong piece featuring just Diaz-Infante that's a combination of Wolff & Hennings, Penderecki, Ry Cooder on ketamine, Morphogenesis, and then a potpourri of the Accretions label musos (Hans Fjellestad, etc.). To say this music is unstructured is inaccurate, as it has plenty of structures—it's just that none of them are in the customary forms, orders, and progressions of 99.9% of extent musics. Saying that Emilio Live, the first cut, is highly imagistic and abstract would be far more to the point, though I'd add 'contemplative' to the mix. Then, for the equally lengthy Resonance, Lisa Cameron (lap steel, membrane, cut snares, cymbal, contact mic) and Lee Dockery (elec. upright bass, electronics) join in, seemingly from the mood and territory of Emilio until things ramp up and expand.

At that point, everything becomes avant-progressive and shapes a much larger terrain, spaces out, stabilizes and fragments simultaneously, becomes insistent, fades, returns, oscillates, and collapses, only to do it all over again, and agian, and again, each time to variance. This release, then, is prog, electronic, free, a-v, noise, abstract, and pretty much well beyond any stable categorization…and if you want a copy, you'd better hurry, as it's been released only in an extremely limited edition of 133. Time waits for no man, nor does art music.

Track List:

  • Emilio Live
  • Resonance
No credit given for song writing, so I'm assuming Emilio Live is written" by Ernesto Diaz-Infante and Resonance by Diaz-Infante / Cameron / Dockery.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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