Test Reviews

Non Credo “Reluctant Hosts” (No Man’s Land, nml 8814, 2000, CD) One of my most longed-for dream reissues finally makes it to digital! Only about 12 years late but that’s ok; I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I had almost given up though; but it was certainly worth the wait. Reluctant Hosts was originally released on LP in the late 80s by the same label as that who here resurrects it. Even a quick listen will convince one that Non Credo are a cosmic singularity if there ever was one – art music ofthe highest standard, presented in song form, by a Los Angeles-basedduo of truly gifted and inspired musical alchemists who do turn their rawmaterials to gold. Where Non Credo particularly leaves others in the dust, is in Kira Vollman’s vocal ability. Robust, resonant and full-bodied, it could never be mistaken for the kind of diaphanous nasal whine that too often characterizes American female singers, especially common in this particular genre. The operatic quality she brings to Non Credo adds a dimension that is usually missing from experimental music. If I didn’t know better I’d likely pinpoint them as Swedish, French, or Dutch.Instrumentally, Kira and her partner Joe Berardi (no slouch himself), cover all the necessary battery needed to paint the mischievous and wickedly clever portraits framed by the Non Credo spirit: (she) voice, bass, clarinet;(he) percussion, cello, accordion. Both of them ace Keyboards as well,coloring in the details of 12 musical figurines that briskly whisk you througha guided amusement park tour inhabited by strange denizens and spookyimagery. The music is witty, flawlessly executed, and exuberant, even where it detours into darker realms. In addition, they added 12 more songsthat were composed for soundtrack works not included on the LP. We covered Non Credo’s second album (Happy Wretched Family) about fiveissues back, and it was even better than Reluctant Hosts. Both are definitely recommended items. Mike Ezzo / EXPOSÉ Magazine