Bill Horist
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Soylent Radio , 6.5/10
UnFolkUs, 6/10
Songs From The Nerve Wheel , 6/10
Lyric/ Suite (2002), 5/10
Covalent Lodge (2010), 5/10

Bill Horist (born in Michigan) is a guitarist of Seattle's ensemble Phineas Gage and a collaborator to many other avantgarde projects. His discography includes Guitometry (auto-prodotto, 1993) and Phineas Gage Traveling Sideshow (1997). His style was initially similar to the noise-jazz styles of Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser and Hans Reichel.
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Bill Horist (nato in Michigan) e` chitarrista nell'ensemble Phineas Gage a Seattle e collaboratore di tanti altri progetti d'avanguardia. La sua discografia comprende Guitometry (auto-prodotto, 1993) e Phineas Gage Traveling Sideshow (auto-prodotto, 1997). Il suo stile e` ispirato al noise-jazz di Fred Frith, Hans Reichel e Henry Kaiser.

Soylent Radio (Unit Circle, 1997) e` una raccolta di assoli improvvisati di chitarra e duetti altrettanto improvvisati fra chitarra e sintetizzatore, chitarra e oggetti metallici, chitarra ed elettronica. Se le sonorita` eccessive di Soylent Radio sono abbastanza prevedibili, le dissonanze e i clangori snervanti di Clowder, le risonanze galattiche di 3 Cloven Staircase e soprattutto i subdoli infrasuoni delle due parti di The Teeth Of Our Skin esplorano meandri suggestivi dell'animo umano. Gli accordi frammentati di Penumbra Hotel accennano temi che non avranno mai luce, anzi vengono deragliati verso il mondo anarchico di Morton Subotnick, ma in nuce questa e` musica ambientale. Come nel caso di Jim O'Rourke, non e` facile separare l'aspetto tecnico da quello artistico. Probabilmente il primo vale molto piu` del secondo.

UnFolkUs is a quartet (guitar, clarinet/sax, percussions and metal objects) that plays improvised music. UnFolkUs (Unit Circle Rekkids, 1998) is a collection of ten pieces that are extremely disturbing. Mostly, they are spare scores (Trashcan the longest) in which very little of notice happens. It is the texture, not the story. Clap For Jesus is a notable exception, a childish experiment for metallic percussion.

Bill Horist's second solo album, Songs From The Nerve Wheel (Unit Circle Rekkids, 2000), is another set of solo guitar improvisations that sound like anything but solo guitar improvisations. Inhibitat is seven minutes of wildly dissonant, interstellar radio signals, that end with what sound like bagpipes. The album's most cogent moments are a couple of deconstructed blues, the Hendrix-ian Gravity's Backwash and The Architct Of Downfall, but mostly Horist is too busy indulging in the eerie sounds of his guitar and, while Old Man Smithereens creates enough landscape and suspense, most tracks are little more than personal notes for the artist. His technique remains monumentally revolutionary but art is not just technique.

Horist is also featured on several collaborations, including Renderhorse (Soundgasm, 2000) and Zahir (Endless, 2000). Horist also plays in several avantgarde ensembles, including Fuselage, Fin, Incubus Octet, and Tablet.

Interstellar Chemistry (Beta-lactam Ring, 2002) is a collaboration with Zeni Geva's KK Null.

Originally composed as the soundtrack to a multimedia event of 2002, Lyric/ Suite (Tangenesis, 2002 - Accretions, 2004) is a 13-movement suite for solo multi-tracked electric guitar. The hypnotic slow-motion tinkling of Overture is the most linear, melodic and quiet of the batch. The rest is rather on the front of the hallucinated post-psychedelic avantgarde. Scissors begins a journey into the microworld of sounds: the notes are clipped to generate a flow of discontinuous noises a` la Morton Subotnick-esque dadaist pieces. Time seems to stand still in Dice Dance, each sound dilated and warped, left unfinished and isolated. Gesture weds Jimi Hendrix, minimalist repetition and dissonant chamber music. Entropy is the longer and more complex exercise, indulging in industrial stridor and mechanical sequences. Despite the captivating title, this is one of Horist's least interesting albums, a minor work whose parts are barely sketched.

Covalent Lodge (North Pole, 2010) marked a detour into surreal acoustic folk-ish songs, such as the slow-motion psychedelic exotic lullabies In The House Of The Specious Phylum (male vocals) and Smeared Slate Gales In Oozing Windows (female vocals). The instrumentals are, however, much more interesting, starting with the elegant, neoclassical fugue of Requiem For Endless Days. Everything seems out of focus here. Sometimes this is beneficial: towards the end the tinkling medieval-sounding dance The Breath-Width Isthmus (Eyvind Kang on viola, plus harp and vibraphone) begins to sound like the Penguin Cafè Orchestra although it ends too soon. The lengthy fantasia Glenn/ Ganges, on the other hand, mutates a bit sounds like a group of musicians in search of something to play.

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