Disc drive

Semata Productions goes on record
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  August 26, 2008

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The Epicureans

Over the past year and a half, Semata Productions’ Coup d’Etat music series has become one of the go-to venues for new and unusual music in Boston. Located in a charmingly barebones space in the old Chickering Piano Factory (now the Piano Craft Guild) in the South End, the series has hosted an eclectic mix of performers, from Actionist sound poets to rip-roaring noise artists, whisper-quiet improv ensembles to squalling free jazz groups. And then there’s the sprawling Cross-Pollenization Creative Music Festival, a thrice-yearly marathon of local experimental music.

The driving force behind Semata is the young, Brazilian-born percussionist and electronic musician RICARDO DONOSO. This summer, Donoso and his Semata compatriots are extending the Semata franchise with the formation of a homonymous record label. “It was a logical progression from the series,” says Donoso of the imprint, “and it provides an outlet to release both my own music and the music that I care about.”

Last month, Semata put out its first release, a limited-edition CD/R showcasing the guttural rumblings and delicate textural machinations of the EPICUREANS, a free-improv group with Donoso on drums, RYAN MCGUIRE on bass, and DAVE GROSS on sax. This week, the label releases its first proper CD, Self-Hate Index, by local trumpeter GREG KELLEY. An extraordinarily innovative player, Kelley is best known for his work in the ultra-soft improv duo NMPERIGN and the ultra-loud noise group HEATHEN SHAME. On this exquisitely intense disc, he unleashes a breathtaking array of very un-trumpetlike sounds that range from the brutal to the sublime.

For Donoso, releasing a record by Kelley was a perfect way to kick off the label. “Like the series we host and our planned releases, Greg goes between frighteningly quiet micro-textures to harrowing, brutal harsh noise. That’s what you’ll find on Self-Hate Index — faint micro-structures likely to be found at a nmperign concert, right next to demonic feedback more akin to a Heathen Shame performance.”

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