ISSUE 147 • MAY 96
Far East Side Band Urban Archaeology Victo CD037
The Asian-American band led by electric violinist Jason Kao Hwang incorporates tuba player Joe Daley for their second album. Eschewing the large-ensemble broad-brush approach of Jon Jang, Hwang favours intimate, texturally rich music that is organized around silence and delicate microtonal investigations, just occasionally rocking out in a very unusual way. Hwang's violin playing uses a lot of swooping, high-pitched lines, which bring an unmistakable darkness to the music. Joe Daley's use of electronics subtly enhances the group sound. All in all, Urban Archaelogy is a mind-grabbing set of atmospheres that reflects Hwang's aim of rooting his music in the improvisational personalities of the musicians he works with. It sounds new.
- WIRE Magazine