Click to hear 2min MP3 of 'Ichor' Click cover to hear a 2min MP3 of 'Ichor'

PLATE LUNCH catalog #: PL07


Peter Cusack/Nicolas Collins - A Host of, Golden Daffodils (CD) / released October 1999.



1: Stoyan 21:46
2: Ichor 14:51
3: Hazlitt 13:13

Total running time: 49:48



The mid-1990s saw a handful of avant-garde musicians experimenting with electronics. Along Evan Parker's electro-acoustic project and Peter Zummo's MIDI trombone, guitarist Peter Cusack had developed an interesting way of dialoguing with the electronics and real-time processing of Nicolas Collins. "A Host, of Golden Daffodils" documents two concerts held in Amsterdam and Berlin in June and November 1996. Cusack plays guitar and bouzouki, and manipulates some electronic devices, but this part of the performance is mostly assumed by Collins. Sounds are not treated beyond recognition, they are simply expanded, given an extra dimension or two. The best moments are found on "Stoyan" a striking piece, peaceful, almost bucolic. The guitarist hints at a melody that is wrapped in electronic textures. Although freely improvised, the piece gives the listener the clear impression that both players knew where they were going.
Amidst all the dry headache-inducing electronic experiments put to CD at the turn of the century, "Stoyan" is a breath of fresh air. "Ichor" and "Hazlitt" were recorded at the Museum für Gegenwart (Berlin), a very reverberant hall. Here, sound quality drops a bit as the listener feels he is hearing the concert from the back of the hall. The second piece is more electronic and less engaging. On the third, Cusack picks up his guitar again, alternating between delicate melody sketches and violently-strummed chords (reminiscent of Roger Smith). Neither top the album opener, the real reason why you want to add this CD to your collection.

from: François Couture - All-Music Guide, May 2001

"A CD by two avant-garde artists that may mean something to a few of you out there... Culled from two live performances (in Amsterdam and Berlin) this is strong abstract avant-garde, involving all sorts of mutilated instrumental textures, guitars, samples, processing, and a device called "trombone-propelled electronics". It's mind-boggling stuff, schizophrenic and often very aggressive. The closest thing to this is some early AMM Music, or some of the more expressive FMP roster."

from: Audion #43 (UK), Autumn 2000 - by: Alan Freeman

Bei einem Gastaufenthalt an der TU-Berlin entstanden die gemeinsamen Aufnahmen von Cusack und Collins, mit der Aufgabenteilung: Cusack = konkrete Geräusche; Collins = Postproduktion und Electronics. Als wollten die beiden den Turm von Babel neu erbauen, klingeln die ausgehebelten Saiten, pfeifen die aufge- rauhten Münder und grummelt das Metall. Ihr merkt schon: unbeschreiblich.

from: "Auf Abwegen" # 29, summer 2000 review: Zipo


Live performances with Cusack providing sounds from guitar, bouzouki, whistling, electronics, and Collins on more electronics and a nifty digital signal processor controlled by a trombone. The sounds are never processed beyond recognition, giving the recordings a clarity that is closest to non-jazz free-improv than electronic or computer music. Desolate tinkling sonorities from Cusack's guitar, and some spazzed out explosions from Collin's CD players. Unlike some free improv, there is no sense of austerity here- a very "fun" atmosphere permeates, and the placement of some of the samples makes me think the creators intended quite a bit of humor to be read into their work. On track 1, a segment of heavy metal power chords recurs for a bit, adding to the craziness of the mix. There is a beautiful section of track 1 around 16 minutes in where a sampled stuttering female voice introduces a very melancholy plucked melody over some ambient rumbles. There is an amazing variety of sounds on this disc- the density of the mix is never overpowering, and though the sense of wild freedom that most improv provides is indeed there, the freedom is tempered by the clinical hand of a careful editor.

from: ANGBASE #5 (USA) May 2000 reviewed by: Carlos Pozo


More appealing (than the Nicolas Collins CD "Sound Without Picture") is the collaboration between Collins and English electroacoustician Peter Cusack, which features material drawn from live performances in Amsterdam and Collin's current hometown of Berlin. Cusack contributes bouzouki, acoustic guitar, whistling and samples, which have been subsequently processed, along with various materials drawn from radio or CD, by Collins on his trombone gizmo.
His digital deformations can get extreme, transforming a dry guitar chord into clangorous electronic hyperspace in seconds. The pieces speedily follow an attractive trajectory, moving quickly but retaining a feeling of development. Fragments reappear in different guises and the diverse sounds are marshalled roughly within pitch ranges. The album is suffused with the charge of live performance itself and its dynamic is that of a highly animated dialogue.

From: THE WIRE # 192, February 2000 review written by Will Montgomery


Two performers and improvisers of sound stock, the former English the latter American, caught as a live duet between Amsterdam STEIM and Berlin Museum für Gegenwart. And two definitely dishomogeneous instrumental-parks, almost completely acoustic that of Cusack (sampler, guitar, bouzouki, whistles), totally electronic the one of Collins (as usual he manipulates in real time concrete sounds with his digital signal processor called trombone-propelled electronics), so that the cheap electronics of the latter - which he inherited directly from Tudor who he worked hard with over the years - corrupts and deteriorates the acoustic textures conceived by the former in a successful alternation of noise turbulences and delicate rarefactions. That's particularly effective in the "Hazlitt" intro, secret bouzouki chords played - it seems - with bow used like a saw, then electronically processed to be transformed into a drone of exquisitely intimate workmanship. For the sake of information we must add that both composers have solo records published in the mean time, "Where's the Green Parrot?" on ReR/Recommended by Cusack, "Sound Without Picture" on Periplum by Collins.

from: BLOW UP/Italy January 2000 reviewed by Nicola Catalano


"I didn't know the music of P. Cusack and N. Collins before, of course their names were not unknown for me, especially Collins; his "trombone-propelled electronics" system intrigued me, I must say! I've listened to the CD just one time... enough time to be able to tell you that I like it a lot... the 1st and the 3rd track are fantastic! having in mind that it is live improvisation material, these guys totally control their stuff!... all is very well balanced, hypnotic... we feel that there is somebody behind the machine but not the machine (or the concept) only!"

Written by: Christian Renou (Brume), December 1999.


"...i think the Cusack/Collins CD is spectacular, i still can't figure out how they made certain sounds. I try to keep on top of audio processing technology, for 1996 it's pretty ahead of it's time, certain techniques..."

Written by: Hrvatski, December 1999.



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