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Re: A negative review for 2002

hey, it's not that bad.

just some extra shredwank from a self-absorbed reviewer who likes to hear
himself talk.  read many before.
----- Original Message -----
From: <KILLINFO@aol.com>
To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 9:30 AM
Subject: A negative review for 2002

> Hi all,
> Just to show some evidence of fairness and that I am just
> as likely to deflate my own party balloon as blow it up. I
> thought it might be instructive to share a recent negative
> review my CD has gotten. I've passed along a few of the
> positive ones from time to time (as I have been pretty
> darned pleased to get them) and thought I'd distribute
> this one as well. It's really quite funny in it's own way. And
> besides, even bad publicity is still publicity -- or so they say.
> Anyway, I have a question for everybody at the bottom of
> all of this (should you get there). I'm also including a
> "translation" of another review I got from a publication
> in Lithuania a while back.
> --
> If Terminator 2's evil robot played Morricone-styled guitar to
> the accompaniment of loops of questionable tonality, it'd
> sound like Ted Killian. Despite the lofty philosophical
> statement that graces the sleeve of Flux Aeterna (adorned
> with mathematical symbols, natch), this is an album that
> wants only to stand in front of an amp stack and wail,
> albeit in a slightly mechanical, dystopian way.
> The tunes on this disc are all vaguely soundtrackesque.
> For some reason, I was put in mind of the Cronenberg
> flick Videodrome while listening; the whole idea of a
> disintegrating future, of some kind of technological
> breakdown is communicated in these tunes so
> successfully that it's difficult to believe that there isn't
> a piece of film that goes with them. "Leaving Medford"
> is an edgy, angry piece of work, leaving no doubt in the
> listener's mind that the future's fucked, and Ted's here
> with his newscasting guitar to tell you all about it.
> "Cauterant Baptism", on the other hand, uses the
> depressive tone to rock out: it begins with some loose
> space-cowboy noodling, then turns into a late-Bowie
> toned behemoth, with a stomping bassline and searing
> guitar that threaten to rip off your ears. Not as truly
> astringent as other guitar-wielding noiseniks, Killian
> seems to always keep some sense of the tune inside
> his world-o'-shred. While this makes you crave more
> spark in his playing --occasionally, it can sound more
> like he's practicing for the real deal more than experiencing
> it -- it's satisfying to have something to hold on to amid the
> sonic excursions.
> The propensity for albums like Flux Aeterna to devolve into
> nothing more than shredwank isn't entirely sidestepped
> here -- there are a couple of moments when one imagines
> that Ted's giving Steve Vai a run for his gurning-while-fretboard-
> whizzing money -- but thankfully, these instances of cringe
> aren't too long-lived when they occur. The weakness with
> ambient/experimental guitar tunes is that they can fall
> into the "Hey! I've played that in my bedroom before!" trap.
> Whether this is a welcome familiarity in the world of
> anonymous rock, or merely annoying when you've forked
> over money for the disc, is a personal call, but let's just say
> that if it's the latter, you might want to give this disc a miss.
> That said, it's a strong album -- there are some good ideas
> here -- but just don't be surprised if you find yourself digging
> out your guitar and an EBow after giving it a spin.
> Luke Martin, http://www.splendidezine.com
> --
> A few months ago I got a review from a Lithuanian print
> magazine called "Tango" and asked the list if anybody new
> a translator. Well, I finally got a translation on my own from an
> online outfit. I am still not sure the translation is quite right
> because it sounds so darned academic, but here goes...
> --
> Linas, Tango Magazine, Lithuania, October, 2001
> I did not manage to find any additional information on this
> musician, so material received previously from pfMENTUM
> is the only context in which it is possible to present this
> musician and his new work. pfMENTUM is a small record
> label based in California and specializing in modern
> experimental and extemporaneous music. Tango has
> reviewed records of this firm before. From the small
> amount of given works, it is possible to make conclusions
> and suppose that this work, “Flux Aeterna,” fits into a frame
> of aesthetics introduced by this publisher on other occasions.
> Like the previous records, it is issued in unique and unusual
> packing (even in a box), like the musical concepts it contains,
> along with the cryptic motto: "Change equals hope. Hope
> equals change."
> It's obvious, that Ted Killian is a musician who has grown
> and matured under the influence of the school of effects
> (guitar of the seventies and eighties) especially from the
> peripheral aesthetic point of view of repetitive minimalism,
> plus an extensive musical heritage -- without which musical
> (not only guitars) thinking and interpretation would be
> impossible -- in electro/acoustic music and urbanized blues.
> But, such a generalized set of references certainly doesn't
> explain anything to us. Listening to the given work, I cannot
> escape being reminded of one persistent idea: It is clear
> that not one popular band has survived the speeding
> 50-year long evolution of the electric guitar.
> Nonetheless, it is natural that different crumbs of this history
> can be found in the vocabulary of any musician who knows
> it from experience rather than from second hand. Among
> these fashionable musicians we can also rank Ted Killian --
> who's music is vigorous and mysterious with wide and
> multi-channeled overlappings designed around electronic
> musical effects. Here one can reference such luminaries as
> Frank Zappa, Carlos Santana, Robert Fripp and Glenn Branca.
> There is distortion, overloaded "phasing", different from the
> electronic effects approaches that which the former bluesmen
> have passed on to us, and their aesthetic marks (also well
> known: progressive chords and dynamism). Add "Fripertonic"
> overlappings of sounds and feedback, a minimized figure of
> a rhythm and "ostinatic" motifs and you have a formula for the
> next plan. All this is easily read, without claims and is a result
> of "converging" music with original Ted Killian characteristics
> and an exacting feeling of the form --all-in-all, worthy of note --
> and I actually recommend listening to this modern guitar music.
> --
> So, here are two reviews -- one more or less negative and one
> more or less positive --and neither one of these guys really
> seems to understand what he's listening too -- or at least neither
> one really seems to understand what caused the music to be
> made in the first place (me). Did I make a mistake in being rather
> stingy on the liner notes? Should I have said more? Not that it really
> matters -- the CD is still something I'm pretty proud of. I continue
> to be astonished that it has gotten any attention at all.
> Given the recent thread concerning the idea that we might
> (or might not) take some time to explain ourselves and our
> techniques and/or concepts to an audience before a performance
> how does one go about handling liner notes? The press kit that
> went out with my CD had more info about the label pfMENTUM
> than about me. Was that a mistake? It's not the reviewer's fault
> that I'm a somewhat unknown entity. But I'm also neither a wannabe
> bedroom shredmeister nor an academically trained composer/
> musical philosopher. Both are way off from my point of view...
> and pretty substantially to boot. Is this sort of thing unavoidable?
> Anywho, thanks for your time.
> Ted Killian