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23 Apr 2017

Ariel Kalma “Ariel Kalma - Le Temps Des Moissons”1975 France Experimental Electronic Ambient









Ariel Kalma “Ariel Kalma - Le Temps Des Moissons”1975 France Experimental Electronic Ambient
The Wah Wah reissue reproduces the original printed sleeve, comes mastered sound from the original tapes, 2 bonus tracks and an insert featuring liner notes and photos, in a limited edition of only 500 copies........

Listening to Ariel Kalma, it becomes clear that the 1970s French composer was something of a world traveler. While his 1977 classic Osmose featured synthesizers integrated into the tonalities of the rainforest, Le Temps des Moissons (technically predating Osmose by two years), finds him reflecting on his musical studies during an extended trip to India. Environment has everything to do with what influences Kalma’s music, and he once again proves to be a master at hybridizing modern technology with sounds that predate his existence. My purist instincts usually draw a red flag when it comes to "world music" crossovers (you don’t have to try hard to get me talkin’ smack about Tabla Beat Science), but Kalma maintains his own identity, using the Indian influence in ways similar to John Fahey, ’60s minimalists, and contemporary artists like Matt Valentine.

Although received with great fanfare upon reissue, Osmose was ultimately better in conception than execution; the album now sounds closer to new age than psychedelia or 20th Century art music. But Le Temps des Moissons hits the nail on the head both sonically and through artistic mastery. Taking direct cues from Indian form and aesthetic, Kalma builds pseudo-tamboura drones for his saxophone to solo over. And the term “solo” is to be taken loosely -- Kalma has a strict regiment of modal patters which he always comes back to.

Taking advantage of delays and multitrack recording, simple melodies weave in and out of each other, creating magnificent valleys and crescendos. Only on the album's closer, “Reternelle,” does Kalma remove his ornately short leash, allowing room for just a touch of free jazz sax skronk. Additionally, Kalma warns that he prefers a fairly pure and raw sax tone, which translates to a nasally sounding high-midrange on record. He even recommends adjusting the EQ to your desired liking, maintaining that his tone could be off-putting to some. And while it may be a distraction to most Western ears, Kalma's timbre isn’t so much harsh as it is a reflection of natural Eastern tonalities.

The most interesting parts of Le Temps des Moissons are the bonus tracks, sandwiched between the longer works that make up the album. While the titled songs find Kalma sticking closely to the basic principles of Indian music, he tends to cut loose and experiment more on the extra material. Sounding more like a predecessor to Sunburned Hand of the Man than any Shankar acolyte, these tracks cater to the “strung out on ‘ludes” style of improvisation that's more prevalent in contemporary music. Believe me, I intend that as a compliment. Even a primitive drum machine makes its way into the mix, reminiscent of the sounds on the recent Sun Ra Disco 3000 reissue.

One thing drastically missing from the reissued CD is the locked groove which originally ended side two of the LP. Beta-lactam Ring gives the track a slow, two-minute fade out, and while it sounds nitpicky, the lack of the real ending is indeed a bummer. No, I wouldn’t want to sacrifice the rad bonus tracks (in fact, I want a bonus disc of bonus tracks), but Le Temps des Moissons is one of the rare albums that could conceptually occupy infinite time and space. While the main pieces swell and decay over time, they don’t cater to a beginning, middle, or end in a traditional Western sense, and the locked groove that originally declared the album's finish was without a doubt part of Kalma’s vision for this music. It’s just a tiny (mix tapes) reminder of the shortcomings of the digital medium. That being said, Beta-lactam Ring has spared no expense in their beautiful, gatefold-style LP packaging. Clearly, they still see advantages in a physical product versus the download and have made a package that is as much an art object as it is music. It couldn’t be more appropriate, for Kalma proves himself once again to be an underappreciated visionary, one who deserves a proper archive for his work................by SETH K ·...........

Ariel Kalma is a prolific composer, multi-instrumentalist, and global traveler whose work ranges from electronic experiments and minimalism to electro-acoustic; ambient electronic to globally tinged new age music. Kalma was born and raised in Paris where he began studying recorder at the age of nine and saxophone at 15, playing in school bands and rock & roll acts until he attended university, where his taste expanded to avant-garde and free jazz. While studying computer science and playing music in rock clubs he was encouraged by Belgian pop star Salvatore Adamo. After playing in a free jazz duo with a drummer for a time, he formally joined Adamo's road band playing sax and flute (he taught himself to play the latter instrument in a week). During his traveling adventures he met virtuoso Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell and played with him in Germany and later in Paris. When he returned to Paris in 1971, he began experimenting with Revox reel-to-reel tape recorders, delays, and analog loops using organs, poetry, flutes, saxophones, and noise. He hung out in churches, recording their atmospheres and natural sounds. In early 1974, Kalma joined French pop singer Jacques Higelin's band and began traveling the world. During the nine-month trip, he found himself in an airplane hangar in India during monsoon season; he flipped on his portable tape recorder and claims to have had a "heart-opening" experience. He learned the technique of circular breathing on his travels. When he returned to Paris in 1974, after traveling the long way home, his attitude toward life and music making had changed forever. He became deeply influenced by composers Terry Riley, LaMonte Young, and Charlemagne Palestine, and the global sounds of the Delhi-based Dagar Brothers of the Dhrupad, as well as their notions of minimal drones -- just intonation and well-tuned instrumentation -- and explored what he heard in these approaches given his own musical background, combining it with his tape recorder experiments. He worked for a time at Pierre Henry's legendary Institut National Audiovisuel, Groupe de Recherches Musicales (INA GRM). It was during this period that he recorded and independently released his debut album, Le Temps des Moissons (The Time of the Harvest), in 1975, selling it from the back of his moped and on consignment to record stores. Back in Paris, he met Riley and recorded his second album, Osmose, with sculptor and field recorder Richard Tinti, who supplied the composer bird and insect songs from a tropical rainforest. With a sound that walked the line between Eno's ambient music and the then-emerging new age music, Osmose was released in 1978 on France's SFP label. In 1980, Interfrequence, an album that walked a beautifully loping line between experimental, drone-based music, and new age was released by Editions Montparnasse; it was followed in 1981 by Musique Pour Le Reve et L'Amour, 1984's cassette-only Bindu, and 1989's Serenity. These early albums were merely Kalma's official output. He made dozens upon dozens of studio recordings that never saw the light of day; each applied a different aspect of his ongoing musical development, his world view, and aspects of his global travels. While his work took on a decidedly new age bent, his experiments with electronic music never ceased. Galactica Electronica, recorded during his '80s space music period, is ample evidence. Kalma marketed his own recordings throughout the '90s and into the 21st century via his website, labels, and independent distributors. Highlights include Endless Breath and Flute for the Soul. In April 2014, Open Like a Flute, which combined two '80s-era cassette recordings from Montreal, Paris, and Hamburg. It was followed by RVNG Intl.'s collection of early tape recorder pieces, An Evolutionary Music: Original Recordings: 1972-1979, in the fall. ~ Thom Jurek............

LE TEMPS DES MOISSONS, Ariel Kalma's first record alternates from cyclical saxophone drone piece to an improvised delayed out psych forest jam and concludes with a more ambient composed tape contruction + 2 aditional tracks that were not on the vinyl release. The third piece is i think were it comes together. The delayed out saxaphones weave in and out over a drone then an organ machine rhythm kicks in half way through giving it a mysterious spectral groove quality. On the original Vinyl this track ended in a lock grove that would play on indefinately which is the perfect conclusion for this track. Some of the lock groove was left in on the CD to simulate the effect...............

Born and raised in Paris, France, Ariel started playing the recorder at age 9 and saxophone at 15. During his successive studies of Electronics, Computer Science, Music and Art in Paris, Ariel performed with several bands, then toured the world and visited Europe, Japan, India, Eastern Canada, and parts of the USA. Apart from rhythm & blues, pop and jazz, he acquired assorted experiences in middle-age French, electro-acoustic, and modal music. All the travels broadened Ariel's musical horizons tremendously; listening to and playing with different styles, people, and instruments, intricate scales, techniques, timing and rhythms.

Ariel Kalma playing guitarAfter learning circular breathing from a snake charmer in India, Ariel practiced it on soprano sax - for many sleepless nights - in the basement of a cathedral in New York (when he was not playing upstairs on the large harmonium). Returning to France in late '76, Ariel could include those endless notes into his own long-delay-effect system with which he toured, playing solo concerts. Ariel contributed to the birth of (then) new music genres: minimalist, space, ambient, new age, electronic etc.

With his passion for recording and sound, Ariel always had a home studio and was also technical assistant to some of the composers at Paris' GRM - Musical Research Group part of the INA (Audiovisual National Institute), where he recorded some of his compositions.

Over 3 decades, Ariel Kalma published several vinyl LP's, cassettes, and CD's, many older ones out of print. His compositions have been used for modern dance-theatre, films, musical poetry, guided meditations, transformational groups. Ariel Kalma has also played on many albums in France - even throughout Europe, the US and recently Australia, where he lives. (ariel-kalma)........
This has been the first solo recording LP from Ariel Kalma, recorded in 1975. After a long journey to India where he learnt the basics of modal music and singing, Ariel was inspired by the fusion of ancient and modern ways of playing music in the 70s with saxophone, ethnic instruments, effects, electric instruments and electronic filters. As making a record was expensive at that time, when the first thousand records were pressed Ariel run out of money so he bought blank sleeves and one by one, he drew the shape of his hand and numbered each LP. This first pressing is now rare and sought after!

Another detail made this LP memorable because it had not been done before: Ariel convinced the pressing engineer to loop the groove at the end of side 2 - thus creating an endless loop - and although it was casually mentioned on the cover, it caused surprises sometimes by sending listeners into trance. or on some occasions burning the motor of their turntable after endless hours! On this CD, Ariel included a loop of several minutes only, because the LP loop had an audio advantage: as time passed the sound of the loop changed because the diamond eroded the groove.

To the 3 compositions originally on the LP have been added 2 other ones from that period of time. Note from Ariel : Saxophone is powerful. It has raw sounds that are often filtered, polished for easier listening. I like to let my saxophone sing and when I play, I hear high-pitched, teasing sounds that I like so much. they titillate my senses. If it is too sharp for your ears, adjust your EQ till you are comfortable.
This has been the first solo recording LP from Ariel Kalma, recorded in 1975. After a long journey to India where he learnt the basics of modal music and singing, Ariel was inspired by the fusion of ancient and modern ways of playing music in the 70s with saxophone, ethnic instruments, effects, electric instruments and electronic filters. As making a record was expensive at that time, when the first thousand records were pressed Ariel run out of money so he bought blank sleeves and one by one, he drew the shape of his hand and numbered each LP. This first pressing is now rare and sought after!

Another detail made this LP memorable because it had not been done before: Ariel convinced the pressing engineer to loop the groove at the end of side 2 - thus creating an endless loop - and although it was casually mentioned on the cover, it caused surprises sometimes by sending listeners into trance. or on some occasions burning the motor of their turntable after endless hours! On this CD, Ariel included a loop of several minutes only, because the LP loop had an audio advantage: as time passed the sound of the loop changed because the diamond eroded the groove.

To the 3 compositions originally on the LP have been added 2 other ones from that period of time. Note from Ariel : Saxophone is powerful. It has raw sounds that are often filtered, polished for easier listening. I like to let my saxophone sing and when I play, I hear high-pitched, teasing sounds that I like so much. they titillate my senses. If it is too sharp for your ears, adjust your EQ till you are comfortable............

First solo recording LP from Ariel Kalma, recorded in 1975. After a long journey to India where he learnt the basics of modal music and singing, Ariel was inspired by the fusion of ancient and modern ways of playing music in the 70s with saxophone, ethnic instruments, effects, electric instruments and electronic filters. Kalma is also known for have played in albums by other French experimental artists like Delired Chameleon Family, Nyl, Heldon...
Nowadays very rare and hard to find private pressing, some copies came with a hand drawn cover and some in printed form. The Wah Wah reissue reproduces the original printed sleeve, comes mastered sound from the original tapes, 2 bonus tracks and an insert featuring liner notes and photos, in a limited edition of only 500 copies..............

Tracklist
A1 Le Temps Des Moissons
A2 Voyage Reternelle
B1 Bakafrika
B2 Fast Road To Nowhere
B3 Reternelle

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