Burning Star Core

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

A Brighter Summer Day (2002), 6.5/10 (mini)
The Very Heart Of The World (2005), 6/10 (mini)
Everyday World Of Bodies (2006), 6/10 (mini)
Three Sisters Who Share An Eye (2006), 6/10 (mini)
Operator Dead Post Abandoned (2007), 8/10
Challenger (2008), 6/10

Burning Star Core, the project of Ohio-based violinist Spencer Yeh, achieved a unique balance of droning ambience, musique concrete and psychedelic freak-out, a standard first set by the two 16-minute meditations of the mini-album A Brighter Summer Day (Thin Wrist, 2002).

The EP Amelia (2003) contains the eleven-minute The Point Of Departure Is Not To Return that begins with a simple synthesizer melody repeated over and over again but slowly builds up a polyphonic swarm of mirror images.

The EP Amplified Body Sound (2003) contains the ten-minute The Act Of Sitting With One's Own Ass, an almost comic take on electronic music with cartoonish metamorphoses and funny manipulations of voices.

The mini-album Inside the Shadow (2005 - Hospital, 2010) contains three of their best pieces, in particular the nine-minute drone sonata Inside the Shadow, whose timbre keep moving and shifting until it hatching all sorts of percussive turbulence.

The mini-album The Very Heart Of The World (Thin Wrist, 2005) experimented with percussion instruments, notably in the 14-minute Come Back Through Me.

The mini-album Everyday World Of Bodies (Ultra Eczema, 2006) was scored for voice, electronics and found objects. The first side (Shoot Me Out The Sky, Swimsuit 2006, Beneath 2 World) indulges in amateurish musique concrete, mixing electronic sounds, natural sounds and human voice. The second side is even more childish and naive, except that, out of the blue, it delivers the piano vignette In Love With A Promise, that could be by the Penguin Cafè Orchestra.

The mini-album Three Sisters Who Share An Eye (No Fun, 2006), containing just two 15-minute improvisations, was the most extreme of the early works.

The double-disc Mes Soldats Stupides '96 - '04 (Cenotaph, 2005) collects rarities.

Hototogisu + Burning Star Core (2006) contains five noise improvisations, in particular #2, which is 14 minutes of free-form strumming and droning.

Operator Dead Post Abandoned (No Quarter, 2007) inaugurated a quartet with Yeh on violin and electronics, Trevor Tremaine on percussion, Mike Shiflet on computer and Robert Beatty on electronics; and the music attained a loud and transcendental fusion of free-jazz, acid-rock and digital soundsculpting over spastic percussive frenzy. The abrasive rhythmic pattern that opens the 19-minute When The Tripods Came (one of the great glorious electroacoustic symphonies of the time) sounds like an amplified distorted ticking clock, like a remix of Pink Floyd's Time. It quickly escalates into an industrial bacchanal with electronics and guitars that blurt out like free-jazz horns, its metronomy pierced by stormy drones for a breathtaking finale. The 17-minute Operator Dead Post Abandoned opens with a dense chaotic whirlwind of drones and drumming, and doesn't get any more linear or friendly. The cacophonous avalanche somehow coalesces into a breeze of melodic galactic glissandoes. Me & My Arrow is a hypnotic ear-piercing nightmare and slowly grows into a sort of paralyzed raga when the percussion set a tempo. The thundering fanfare The Emergency Networks Are Taking Over is nine minutes of wall of drumming with layers of manic distortion.

Blood Lightning (No Fun, 2007), boasting an unusually "clean" sound, contains the eleven-minute The Universe Is Designed To Break Your Heart, which is basically two pieces in one: first pulsing melodramatic droning minimalism, then atonal free-form electroacoustic music.

The ten-cassette box-set Ghosts Of Niagara (2008) documents collaborations between Burning Star Core and Prurient, notably the apocalyptic five-minute wall of noise of Syrup Slave.

Challenger (Hospital Productions, 2008) marked a return to solo electronic/computer performances, and this time incorporating field recordings. It also marked a new stance by Yeh, one that belonged more with the high-brow avantgarde than with the droning crowd. The result approximated both the cosmic music of the 1970s and the most progressive of Eno's ambient works.

Papercuts Theater (No Quarter, 2010) documents live performances from 1997-2008.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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