Artist: Charles Cohen
Album: Brother I Prove You Wrong

Released: May 2015
Label: Morphine Records

Brother I Prove You Wrong Charles Cohen
In a blend of unrestrained improvisations and all-over sonic invention Charles Cohen delivers on two levels. In combining his great passion for sound with abilities more akin to free-jazz, he effectively questions and re-affirms the pleasures of Electronic Music. Possibly too strange to be considered a masterwork, Brother I Prove You Wrong (68'33") is more a startling anti-classic. It is a mysterious process that fills this album with rumbling ridges, fissures and scars, so that it seems both acoustical and biological at the same time. Cohen's willful experimentation is a symbolic form in need of decoding. Driven by the logic of his instrument (a 1976 Buchla Music Easel), Brother I Prove You Wrong is a test in the sensory effects of potent electronic sound. It equates a sonic action with the measurement of time, and is intended to be experienced with the listener as a sensational register. Prolific as a live performer Cohen's solo concerts may take 30 to 40 minutes for him to complete his full expression, while each of the nine tracks on this double LP take just several minutes each. By texturing the rough, severe edges, we hear the presence of Cohen's noise inclinations. As overlapping aural planes produce an industrial expanse the arrival of a deep mechanical throbbing provides a bleak internal power. With the dark pulse descending, we are left with a haphazard electrical current crackling in the upper register. De-tuned recurring patterns appear in an echoing random dance of notes. Order seems more established as an additional line of rhythm is introduced, and the music takes on somewhat of an ambling groove. In a brisk pumping sequencer staccato the listener may momentarily feel enlivened, yet in his deliberately ambiguous arrangements Cohen never depicts the recognizable (which, while perplexing to those of pedestrian tastes, does lift a major restriction). Beneath their abstractions, his works ripple with personal meaning. He embodies the confidence that comes from knowledge and experience. But, who is Charles Cohen? What ever is this music? His advice is to, "just listen"...

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   6 August

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