3″ CD-R, T’an! Kaven!! Ash!!!, 2008
T’an! Kaven!! Ash!!!, the avant-garde/experimental music ‘subdivision’ of Israeli label The Eastern Front should hardly be familiar to most given the particular nature of their output. Most of this label’s material comes in handcrafted CD-R format, more often than not released in extremely limited numbers, and the musical contents are what many would refer to as ‘acquired taste’ experimentalism strongly bordering on lo-fi, without any negative connotations. “Devil’s Night Jazz”, a one-track piece by Igor Stevanovic released as a 55-copy 3″ CD-R edition, is an example of this.
The most obvious feature of “Devil’s Night Jazz” is a strumming, seesawing structure that follows some sort of irregular sleeping breathing pattern. Under this, distorted guitar chords come and go more or less unexpectedly, alternating with or accompanying a series of ominous, whispering voices. Simple in description, and perhaps in execution, but nevertheless effective in creating an oppressive and haunting atmosphere throughout the near twenty minutes of its duration. Casually listening to “Devil’s Night Jazz”, it tends to fade into aural wallpaper, occasionally grabbing one’s attention with the odd detail. It is in hearing it half-asleep that it achieves its potential, lightly touching the edges of whatever hidden fears the listener may have on the fringes of the subconscious. Though ending somewhat abruptly, the relatively short duration also helps in the efficacy of “Devil’s Night Jazz” – if it would be any longer it would eventually fade permanently into the aural background, unless additional elements would be added to the mix, resulting in a totally different concept.
Either way, as a first taste of Igor Stevanovic’s work, “Devil’s Night Jazz” is sure to be, at least, a piece worthy of curiosity for some, and it does open a few interesting possibilities for sonic exploration.
— Miguel de Sousa