N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 12/27/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of Braxton's recent "Ghost Trance" discs. It's a duet between him & the singer Lauren Newton, best known for her work with the Vienna Art Orchestra. Braxton plays a repetitive, minimally varied melody over & over, while Newton sings the letters of the alphabet. Every so often, there's a strange sound--apparently (according to the liner notes) from the spinning of a gameshow wheel on which titles of Braxton compositions are written; this prompts a brief diversion of the flow of music into another musical structure (rather in the manner of Braxton's collage quartet musics of the 1980s). However, mainly this is about the bemusing, sometimes hypnotic, sometimes boring minimalism of the main composition. It's a pity this isn't especially well-recorded--it's a passable (live) recording, but gets rather distant in spots.Altogether quite puzzling. Worth a listen, but unlikely to spend a lot of time on your stereo. Newcomers to Braxton should certainly investigate the quartets with Crispell, Dresser & Hemingway first."