Fellow violinist Ernesto Rodrigues runs the Creative Sources label, which has been one of the primary documenters of experimental improv in Lisbon. His new release features accordionist Alfredo Costa Monteiro, here playing amplified turntable, with New York electronicist Barry Weisblat. The disc is deeply quiet, with pauses long enough to lead the listener either to introspection or agita. In the spirit of good improvisation, though, they work well together, carrying out each other’s suggestions and finding a single, unique group voice.
Kurt Gottschalk, All About Jazz
Labelboss Ernesto Rodrigues (violin, pick-ups and objects) is less active as a musician compared to the early days of the label, but on ‘Diafon’ he turns up again with Alfredo Costa Monteiro (pick-ups on turntable) and Barry Weisblat (electronics) – the latter being a new name for me. Their almost thirty-six minute work was recorded in a studio and is a fine work of electro-acoustic music/improvisation. Very tight and intense playing here, not really soft or something that, but the music remains audible throughout. Another highlight.
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
«Diafon» is played on electronics, pick-ups (on turntable or not), violin and objects, its shredding electric discharges perfectly balanced by sick winds of microsonic currents howling their nasty aridity in the desolation of a desert. A handful of occasional silences subdivides a single trip to environments where everything that could be described as «luscious» is totally banned; Barry, Alfredo and Ernesto look for an imaginary aqueduct with every switch they flick, yet they only keep finding corpses of significance and remains of analytical knowledge. What emerges at the end is a new form of fossil energy, a kind of low-key science thanks to which surviving in the poorest mental condition becomes easier and – in some instance – desirable. The narrow way to the decongestion of the ears this time leads right into a strident contrast of bleached beauty and noisy consciousness.
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
If I Treni Inerti’s «Aérea» shows glimpses of Costa Mointeiro’s quieter side, «Diafon» plunges us back in the sonic maelstrom that the Portuguese improviser is used to create in his solo turntable performances, with the duo Cremaster or in collective recordings like «Octante» on L’Innomable (search the archive for my review). Here he uses «pick-ups on turntable» in a trio with Barry Weisblat (electronics) and Creative Sources owner Ernesto Rodrigues (violin, pick-ups and objects). The result is honestly closer to harsh noise than to even radical improvisation: frequencies collide and crumble, the violin is brutally ill-treated, everything is loud and distorted. Probably one of the most violent records in the catalogue of the Portuguese label, but also one of the logical extremes of its stylistic identity.
Eugenio Maggi, Chain DLK
“Diafon” is a shortish (35 minute) set from 2004 featuring three players whom I’ve enjoyed quite a bit in different contexts over the last several years (Costa Monteiro, here, is on “pick-ups on turntables” while Rodrigues plays violin, pick-ups and objects; Weisblat presumably is using his standard electronics set-up). It’s pleasantly scratchy, sometimes bracingly harsh, travels through diverse areas but…nothing about it stands out particularly from any dozen such performances one might see at a given festival or on a given night at your favorite local, eai-bar. On the other hand, it’s “good”, in a sense. There are enjoyable passages but, as a whole, it doesn’t congeal for me. I wouldn’t have been disappointed had I witnessed the event; it’s just that I don’t think I would have remembered it a week later. This might be fine, dunno.
Brian Olewnick, Bagatellen