Posted on by bwright | Posted in Review | Tagged

Minneapolis composer Olson writes/assembles fragments for his ensembles, here an eighteen-piece of strings, brass, guitars, keyboards and rhythm section, which the composer then breaks down and reconstructs on his Mac, similar to the computer process music of Bob Ostertag. On this CD the pieces are like cinematic incidental music – hence the title – "because it reminds me very much of incidental music". The result is a storm of ideas ranging from a wild harmolodics-like opening, to wide-open airy Ligeti-ish string pieces, deep jazz-rock groove in the manner of early Weather Report, interruptions from hardrock guitar, big band buffoonery reminiscent of the Willem Breuker Kollektief or early Carla Bley, all treated through the composer’s computer and accompanied on his trusty Moog. What impresses most here is the ambition of Olson’s vision – as well as similarities to Ostertag, you can also hear Ives and Cage, as well as TV cop show car chases and ghost movie atmospherics – perhaps we have to wave hello to Holger Czukay as well. The whole may not entirely hang together (perhaps by the very nature of the "incidental" enterprise) but for sheer breadth and scope, it resembles a miniature, electroacoustic Escalator Over the Hill.–JG