Son of Rose :: All In (Blanket-Fields)

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(July 2009) It seems like only yesterday that NY-based Iranian-born Kamran
Sadeghi’s 2007 Dragon’s Eye debut as Son of Rose was sat on the review
pile. Divisions In Parallel gave notice of an experimental artist who
shepherded sounds towards finding structure and harmonics without
overdetermining their route, allowing access to interesting pathways
and odd tangents along the way. Now on his own label, just a couple
of years on, here’s his fourth full-length, All In, finding him still
engrossed in exploring prepared piano through digital processing.
Sadeghi this time sets out “to capture the holistic immediacy of each
composition” by deploying live takes and minimal post-production
interventions, and the approach does in fact feel more tactile this
time, as piano strings are manipulated with various objects, DSPedal
less indiscriminately to the metal.

Initially, static spray and synth-shimmer conspire on the tone-tides
of “Falling Forward,” pristine pads and ethereal chimings coming on
like Dragon’s Eye doing Kompakt Pop Ambient, albeit with signature
cracks and fissures showing through. “Row” makes good use of the
lulling swell-relent dynamics of the e-bow and its glassine corridors
of gauze, bringing to mind the late-period guitar-wrung tone-poems of
Paul Bradley, lyrical drift skirting the fizzing periphery of digital
noise-mongering. On “Movement Transposed” the dark end of the piano’s
innards – strummed and reverbed strings – is trailed across the
soundstage in a fog of thrumming and trilling timbral motion. There
are more challenging, even grim, explorations, such as “Nineteen Sixty
Five,” with its sharp metallic soundmasses in abraded heavings, or the
final “Fragrant,” in which the listener is placed in an odd suspension
of scrapes and bows and strange resonances. But the most effective Son
of Rose territory is in the inbetween, as on “Toward Sensation,” which
hovers ambiguously in an intermediate nonplace between edgy
nerve-scrape and delightful frisson, gesturing toward harmonic
consonance, then choosing nuanced dissonance; or “RADii,” with its
spray of fibrillating droplets over thin liquid drones in aqueous
tintinnabulations, resolving into tides of low-end well-up and slow
‘copter-blade pulses of Reichian keyboard clusters.

There are times when Son of Rose’s silvery and slivery ambience hints
at something of the lyrical sound-collage spirit of Gas. But mostly
its alignment is toward the 12k – and/OAR – Sirr side of accessible
experimental things, and a predilection for cold-warm communings of
glimmering sine-tones. All in all, All In plays out a kind of Pop
Microsound, one shaken loose from the stuffier end of lowercase
minimalism, and choroegraphed in elegant tonal balletics through a
veil of smears.

All In is out now on Blanket-Fields.

  • Blanket-Fields
  • Son Of Rose
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