In this week's paper I wrote about Film, the superb new album by Stefan Nemeth, synth player for the wonderfully inventive Viennese trio Radian. One of the things that makes the record so gripping is the presence of Radian drummer Martin Brandlmayr on four of the six pieces. He's also part of several other projects, including Autistic Daughters (who have an album coming soon on Kranky), Trapist, and Kapital Band 1, a duo with cellist and electronicist Nicholas Bussman that recently released its second album, Playing by Numbers (Mosz).
Kapital Band 1 continues to be one of Brandlmayr's most spacious and experimental endeavors. The cover illustration is a paint-by-numbers outline of the two players, and the music on these three tracks likewise seems to be waiting for someone to fill it in. That wouldn't improve it, though: the duo's precise minimalism admittedly requires listeners to do a lot of work, but the spare, twitchy grooves, slivers of melody, and ambient city sounds provide plenty of ideas and movement. I like the title track best because that's where Brandlmayr's taut playing is most visceral, clear, and groove oriented--I don't know if I'll ever tire of the way he imitates turntable scratching by rapidly rubbing a brush across the head of his snare drum--but everything here is pretty terrific. Considering that Radian can construct melodies from amorphous squiggles and washes of electronic noise, it should come as no surprise that Kapital Band 1 does the same thing with street sounds from Vienna.
Joe Morris, Ken Vandermark, and Luther Gray, Rebus (Clean Feed)
Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals (We Are Free)
Flower Travellin' Band, Anywhere (Naked Line, Japan)
David Vandervelde, The Moonstation House Band (Secretly Canadian)