ADAM BOHMAN prepared violin & objects
ROGER SMITH guitar
All instruments used without amplification or other electronics
(except for some amplified guitar on 3)
1 - COME IN - 3:30
2 - THE FIRST QUESTION - 35:53
3 - YOUR FRIEND - 3:03
4 - LOOK AT A FOOT - 25:48
5 - YES, THIS - 3:48
6 - SO - 3:00
Digital recordings made in London by Ian Vickers
2, 4 - 2004 December 11
3, 1, 5, 6 - 2006 July 22
Total time 75:26
All previously unissued
Elizabeth James was asked to compose a poem to accompany the music. Her powerful and inspired response is reproduced in full in the CD booklet.
"British improvisers/experimentalists Adam Bohman (prepared violin & objects) and Roger Smith (acoustic guitar), extract the REALITY FANDANGO moniker from the second from last phrase of Elizabeth James' poem, included in the CD booklet. Regardless none of this music seems to have much in common with a fandango - well, at least in literal terms. But the duo's animated and daintily exercised trade-offs speak more to a horizontal plane of spurious fragments of sound and execution.
Bohman and Smith often blurt out transitory musical notions while surfacing as playful and investigative improvisers. Bohman's angular prepared violin lines and slanted permutations work seamlessly with Smith's nimble plucking and fervent strumming manoeuvres. It's sort of like a razor's edge style of sound-sculpting. And on the thirty-five minute work titled Your Friend, they do execute shadowy passages, consisting of rattling objects and perplexing developments. Moreover, the organic element prevails throughout.
On Look At A Foot, the artists seemingly scratch and claw at one another via intricately designed nip and tuck style dialogues. No doubt, subsequent listens will unveil previously undetected sub-themes. And of course, the music iterated here is pure freedom of expression style improvisation that shuns the slightest reference to mainstream or modern jazz. Curiously interesting indeed, yet these performances demand the listeners' attentiveness and commitment. Otherwise, all is lost."
GLENN ASTARITA - JAZZREVIEW.COM 2007
"Coherently with the instrumentation, a frictional aura of disjointed acousticity pervades the improvisations, which may sound pretty harsh on a first approach but reveal billions of minute particulars that depict a story within the story - and then many other stories - all in the space of moments. The 35-minute The first question sees the duo perusing the highest range of notes and harmonics that their instruments allow to reach, metallic chips and zinging particles dropping like bird shit upon a rusty laminate of acid scraping, repeated creaking and disemboweled violin parts. Throughout the record, Bowman and Smith's gawkish phraseology stamps a hastily handscribbled signature on a malleable concept of 'harmony', which is there but is not visible, and might even cause intellectual dysentery to many style-linked, lydian-upon-superlocrian 'fans' of improvisation. In this music, you can picture tremoloing high-tension wires, malfunctioning trombones, crazed barbers slicing their customers' heads with corroded razors, crows tripping on cyanide glue. But you won't find a commonly defined 'chord' to save your life"
MASSIMO RICCI - TOUCHING EXTREMES 2007
"Bohman's playful twangs and scratches nudge Smith gently away from the subtle harmonic shifts that characterise his solo outings towards an investigation of stranger colours and timbres. This is a music of tiny gestures, very much in the tradition of what Kent Carter once referred to as 'insect music', but despite its discreet nature it's not devoid of drama, intensity and virtuosity. 'Technique on the guitar is everything,' Smith said in a 2003 interview, in which he described the music he wanted to make as 'a personal take on difficult bebop lines', and 'an attempt to move all my music into fingers and stop over-physicality'. There's less of the former in evidence than there was on 2005's Emanem duo with Louis Moholo-Moholo, THE BUTTERFLY AND THE BEE, but one senses more of the latter here. On that outing, Smith's plectrumless Spanish guitar had to struggle at times against the South African's polyrhythmic bop barrage. Here, Bohman's forest of plinks, crackles and fizzes provides the perfect habitat to forage in."
DAN WARBURTON - THE WIRE 2007
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