state of the union 2001
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State of the Union 2.001 is a must, even though you will get lost and feel overwhelmed. All Music Guide
... a massive 3-CD set... by the leading lights of the international avant-garde, both famous and unknown. Forced Exposure
It's totally enjoyable. Unmissable. A bandwagon you should get on without missing a beat. CDe
All Music Guide
At first, State of the Union was an LP released in 1982 on Zoar. Produced by Elliott Sharp, it presented short pieces by a wide array of avant-garde artists. Since then, he has released more compilations sporadically. State of the Union 2.001 came out in 2001 on EMF. Still curated by Sharp, it is the biggest set yet: three CDs, 171 minutes of music, 171 cuts by as many artists. While previous albums showed an attempt at putting together a listener-oriented track order, these time pieces have been put in alphabetical order of the artist's first name -- with an admonition to "play on random shuffle." It's probably better that way: Such an extensive catalog of current experimental music research can only lead to improbable segues and clashes -- it might as well be the CD player's fault! Because of alphabetical haphazards, disc two turns out to be the more consistent and "star-studded": Fred Frith, Hans Tammen, Henry Kaiser, Joey Baron, Jon Rose, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Marc Ribot, and Matthew Shipp are only a handful of the represented artists -- but where are Rafael Toral, John Oswald, and the people from Ambiances Magnétiques and Avatar? You will find familiar names and sonic signatures, and discover a truckload of new artists. Now, one minute is just too short to get a good idea of an artist's talent or musical vision -- especially when lost amidst a sea of tracks -- but it's enough to entice. Sadly, the package doesn't include biographies (however short), contact addresses, and such. At least, a supporting website would have been a nice complement. For anyone interested in getting to know deeper the field of avant-garde music, State of the Union 2.001 is a must, even though you will get lost and feel overwhelmed. François Couture
Forced ExposureProduced by composer Elliott Sharp, State of the Union 2.001 is a massive 3-CD set and the latest in this ongoing collection of one-minute pieces by the leading lights of the international avant-garde, both famous and unknown. Ranging from electronics to the human voice and everything in-between, these pieces are fast, furious, sardonic, ecstatic, dark, serious, fleeting, and wry. Highlights include music by Atau Tanaka, Christian Marclay, Dael Orlandersmith, Eric Mingus, Eszter Balint, Foetus, Fred Frith, Freight Elevator Quartet, Harriet Tubman, Harry Smith, Henry Kaiser, Ikue Mori, Jack Womack, Jad Fair, Jeffrey Ford, Jenn Reeves, Joey Baron, John Duncan, Jonathan Bepler, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Marc Ribot, Marianne Nowottny, Matthew Shipp, Merzbow, Phill Niblock, Stephen Vitiello, Tracie Morris, Voice Crack, We, Zeena Parkins, Z'ev, Zbigniew Karkowski, and Zoot Horn Rollo.
This amazing 3-CD set of contemporary sound and text-based music may be just what you need to live a full life. Elliott Sharp set aside his sax and guitar to collect one-minute music and sound works by 171 leading lights of the international avant-garde, both famous and unknown, that represent a vast array of approaches, attitudes, aesthetics, ethnicities, musical styles, and social persuasions. He describes the collection as "concrete, abstract, enraged, objective, caustic, soulful, sardonic, provocative -- all unfiltered, all clear." It's more than that. It's totally enjoyable. Unmissable. A bandwagon you should get on without missing a beat. Play State of the Union 2.001 on Random Shuffle!