Joe Talia – In/Exterior (Holding Pattern, 2006)

Joe Talia

CD Holding Pattern hdp002cd (Australia, 2006)

01. Interior
02. Exterior
03. In/Exterior
04. Ex/Interior

A dark, haunting and disturbing mix of gongs, bowed cymbals, washing machines, feedback, springs, noise and theramins. Like a film shot with sound, Talia’s musique concrete crystallises into alien landscapes, filtered through the hiss of static. Not recommended for those on the verge of psychotic breakdown, or anyone trapped in a spaceship.
Joe has always immersed himself in all aspects of music. Never satisfied with containment to any one style or discipline, he plays drums, guitar, laptop, and composes avante garde electronic music. Exploring a diverse range of musical styles such as, jazz, improvisation, musique concrete, rock, contemporary classical, film music and electronica, drawing influences from many places. In 1999 Joe studied improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts, where he began to develop a highly unique style of drumming that blends driving melodic and rhythmic invention, with textural and sonic exploration. Joe graduated from the VCA in 2001 and has since become one of Melbourne’s most in demand creative musicians.
Joe has been performing, recording and touring with some of Australia’s finest, musicians and ensembles, including, City City City, Ned Collette, David Shea, Francis Plagne, Andrea Keller Quartet, The Bartok Project, Rand and Holland, Erik Griswold, Anita Hustas Trio, Adam Simmons Toy Band, New Blood and countless others.
(Joe Talia)

“In/exterior” is a four part suite of well-recorded and intelligent musique concrete compositions that draws its basic compositional and dynamic vocabulary from 60s and 70s concrete and electronic music whilst managing to find an original and personal voice. The sounds are mainly sourced from electronics and innumerable forms of percussion, from bowed gongs and deep, resonant tom hits to crackling and scattered small sounds. That said, some of the record’s best moments come from the occasional foray into ‘concrete’ sounds and the way Talia utilises these in conjunction with his instrumental and electronic vocabulary: the running water of the title track that fades into tinkling percussion in a manner reminiscent of the great rain into static fade of Parmegiani’s ‘De Natura Sonorum’ and the layered recordings of distant traffic with which the final track closes are both highlights.
Although his sound sources are superb enough to retain interest even within loose structures (something demonstrated in his excellent, more improvisational live shows), Talia’s work truly shines in its composition. The individual recordings that have been edited to together to create ‘in/exterior’ often sound improvised but, as in fellow Australian percussion-electronics wizard Will Gutherie’s releases, their dynamic structure is completely reconfigured by their place in the overall compositional picture. The bold, yet intuitive sequencing of sound elements is what makes ‘in/exterior’ so listenable, in a conventional, enjoyable way. Talia uses jarring edits only as an occasional dynamic device rather than as an essential compositional process, as in much of the work by the group of composers and improvisers centred around the French Metamkine label. Opening track ‘interior’ for instance fades into a dense web of Organum-esque drone, interrupted three minutes later by several flashes of digital noise that organically transform themselves into reverb-drenched feedback. Replaced by a group of high tones bending in pitch around a stationary note Alvin Lucier style, the piece builds to a hellish climax as the digital noise returns before gently fading out with some distant metallic percussion.
Talia retains this quality of compositional invention throughout “in/exterior” and it is truly the work of a young artist who, though he grounds himself in the vocabulary of concrete and electronic music’s academic past, has succeeded in adding something to the world of electro-acoustic music.
(Francis Plagne, Foxy Digitalis)

In/Exterior’ is his solo debut release. The title sounds like it is music for a sound installation, but I believe it’s not. He uses gongs, bowed cymbals, washing machines, feedback, springs, noise and theremins. What he exactly does to them is hard to tell, but he creates an interesting combination of musique concrete, drone and is at times influenced by the old Organum sound. Shriecking sounds of bowed gongs and cymbals are fed through a wall of electronics. Talia’s love to play a variety of styles works also in this solo work, perhaps not as broad as playing with other people, but the four pieces are a fascinating journey of vast empty spaces, with insects swirling around and all the other usual ingredients to sum up this kind of music. Very nice indeed. (Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly)

Cette musique concrète vient d’Australie, et à l’origine Joe Talia serait un batteur. Lors d’un blind test, ça devrait faire gamberger vos amis un moment (mais heureusement ce disque a tout de même aussi d’autres qualités).

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