Active as a jazz saxophonist during the 1960s, Belgian John Van Rymenant (or Van Rijmenant, as the record’s label says) joigned prog-rock bands Waterloo (along keyboard player Frank Wuyts, later in Aksak Maboul) and Necronomicon (pre-Univers Zéro) in the early 1970s. In the mid-1970s, he formed a duo with Kris Shannon called Pneuma Two. Later in the 1980s, Van Rymenant played saxophone on Geoff Leigh and Frank Wuyts‘ LP ‘From Here To Drums’, on No Man’s Land, Germany, 1988. US violinist and composer Michael Galasso, (1949-2009) became famous in the 1990s as a film soundtrack composer (In The Mood For Love, 2000), though he first composed stage music for director Robert Wilson in the 1970s, and later collaborated with choreographers Karole Armitage or Lucinda Childs. His first disc, Scenes, was recorded in Germany in 1982 and released by ECM in 1983.
♫ Like John Van Rymenant’s first LP (Memory Stop, 1982, see here), Scan Lines is the soundtrack to a multimedia project created by Brüssels’ dance company Plan K, premiered in Japan, 1984, though the music on the disc was recorded at a later date during a 1984 New York performance. Galasso plays electrified violin with some pre-recorded parts and occasional sound effects. Van Rymenant plays synthesizer, sequencer, electronic effects, saxophone and tapes. Over a (presumably) pre-recorded pizzicato track playing a Minimalist rhythm, Part Ia has Galasso duetting with himself playing Romantic, long-held notes in the distance – plus amplifier hum is noticeable at this point. An ornamented, elaborated electronic rhythm on sequencer is introduced, over which violin and saxophone build a progressive dialogue playing hushed, soft notes. Part Ib is a frenzy of electronic sounds, sequencer rhythm and an alternance of pizzicato and marching melodies a la Art Zoyd. Part IIa starts with a variation on a JS Bach’s Partita for solo violin by Galasso, making it sound like a US Minimalist composition. The track ends with keyboard low frequency drones and sad, distant violin arpeggiatos. Part IIb is well balanced between rythm and melody, violin and synth, sequencer and sound effects. It goes through different moods and is the most dance-oriented of the LP – contemporary dance, that is. A great album, to no surprise from Igloo Records ca 1984.
Scan Lines – The Paradise of the Artificial Eye
01 Part Ia (17:00)
02 Part Ib (5:10)
03 Part IIa (10:23)
04 Part IIb (11:10)
Total time 43:43
LP released by Igloo Records, ref. IGL 025, Brüssels, 1984