Trio slicnaton
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Trio slicnaton


Band Classical Avant-garde


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Rated: FIVE stars"

A while back, I reviewed the first CD from this artist collective, Mahlon Hoard “Slicnaton”, which I described as “Ornette Coleman meets John Cage and Brian Eno in a dark alley”. Apparently they liked my take on the first CD enough to send the second one for review. After repeated listenings, I’m glad they did. While the first CD, sounded like a collection of loose, disparate (albeit interesting) improvs, “Trio slicnaton” is a much more cohesive effort. It is also quite a bit darker.

The electo-acoustic ensemble for this outing consists of Mietek Glinkowski (Violin & Vitar), Nicholas Slaton (Electronics & Basses), and Julian Sparacino (Flute, Bass Clarinet & Piano). They also get a little help from Jon-Marc Ryan Dale (Drum Set) and Andrew Munger (Percussion). The tracks were culled largely from live improvisations in early 2008, both in performance venues and recording studio. Owing to the unity of the core ensemble, it becomes clear that there is a certain synergy between the members that elevates the results of the improvisation to a realm beyond just interesting sonic experiments.

From the onset of the first track, “All in Time”, an ominous atmosphere sets the tone for what’s to come with a low windy drone as the backdrop for slow bass clarinet motifs and some deeper echoey industrial elements. Think Lustmord backing Mick Karn and Massimo Munari. It’s a great way to start an album.

The next couple of tracks, “Still Still” and “Storch” are closer to classical avant-garde with good spatial relation between the sonics and the silence. Low drones of various types are used to good effect while violin and bass clarinet play dirge-like melodies. In “Storch” it sounds like some type of rapidly picked stringed instrument can occasionally be heard under the dense cloud of low rumbling noise adding to the tension. Storm clouds clear on “From Scratch” and pentatonic flute arpeggios flirt with a slippery, slithery violin giving the piece an oriental zen-like quality. Brief but welcome.

“Blown out” owes more to free jazz improvisation but put in a Stockhausen setting. What I really like about Trio Slicnaton over avant-gardists like say, John Zorn is that the improvisation doesn’t get in the way of the ambience, it’s never “in your face”. Yes, there are certainly weird tonalities aplenty, and it isn’t all smooth sailing, but there is nothing untoward that clashes with the feel of the mood they’re creating. And this is mostly a pretty dark mood. The cinematic nature of these sound sculptures would easily lend itself as an excellent soundtrack to an edgy experimental film. At times mysterious, at others, oppressive, the instrumentalists combine to form a pastiche of diabolic import, yet place necessary rays of light to keep it from being one long continuous nightmare. “Nightlife” is such a piece, with flutes and emulation of nature sounds that lend an aura of calm and tranquility. My only regret is that the CD isn’t longer; at a little under 39 minutes it seems too brief a listening experience, and probably should be labeled an EP rather than a full CD. Still, 38+ minutes of great music outweighs 75 minutes of just good music anytime. I’d rather be left wanting more, than just wanting something different.

This is a STRONG BUY recommendation of you like avant-garde/dark ambient. There is a big difference between the kind of experimental noise some “artists” inflict on listeners, and well-crafted compositions that take the best elements of their influences and synthesize them into something truly brilliant. Trio Slicnaton is such a remarkable recording. You can find it at CD Baby.
Review by: Steve Mecca - Chain D.L.K.


Trio Slicnaton is a collective of musicians, who perform "a collection of original compositions and recordings focused on the instrumental and electronic music of Nicholas Slaton and his collaborators". In this collective we find names such as Slaton himself, Mietek Glinkowski, Julian Sparacino, Bob Spence, Marc Medwin, Andrew Munger and more. On Trio Slicnaton the first three musicians play, on violin, vitar, basses, electronics, clarinets and flute. The CD starts out in quite an improvised mood, with a leading part for the clarinet. At the first I thought this would not be my kind of music, but as the CD progressed things got more and more interesting. Slicnaton uses improvisation to create drone like music, with lots of attention for the smaller details in the music, the smaller electronic particles. Clarinets and violin take the leading part, but things are cleverly mixed together. This is not a static form of drone music, but sounds swirl around; around eachother, around the room. Moving in and out the mix making things organic and atmospheric. A bit of modern classical touches thrown in, make this altogether quite a pleasant CD. (FdW)
 - The Vital Weekly

"Rigobert Dittmann"

TRIO SLICNATON (slicnaton Publishing): Nach seinem Meeting mit dem
Saxophonisten Mahlon Hoard (-> BA 54) hört man den mit Electronics &
Bässen operierenden Nicholas Slaton aka slicnaton hier in
Livebegegnungen mit Mietek Glinkowski an Violine & Vitar (ein Zwitter
aus Violine + Gitarre) und Julian Sparacino an Flöte & Bassklarinette.
Schauplatz ist Raleigh, North Carolina. Von Slaton komponierte Melodien
für Geige und Bassklarinette oder Flöte werden als Samples und Loops
Grundlage für Trioimprovisationen, in denen mehrere akustische und
elektronische Schichten miteinander interagieren und sich überlagern.
Was dabei entstand lässt sich schwer zuordnen, die Genres ‚Ambient,
Improvisation, 21st Century, Electro-Acoustic, Free, Future, Live
Electronics, Sound Art, Noise‘ treffen tatsächlich sämtlich und
durchwegs gleichzeitig zu. Der Dröhnfaktor ist beträchtlich, das
Ambiente aber nicht gerade behaglich und einlullend. Die Sonic Fiction,
die hierzulande das Ensemble Zeitkratzer spielt, löscht vergleichbar
und ebenso gewollt den Bindestrich zwischen Electro & Acoustic,
Flötentöne und Geigenpizzikatos schwimmen auf einem Traumklangfluss,
öfters tauchen sie unter. Gelächter und Stimmen im Hintergrund von
‚Beans‘, für das sich Trio slicnaton mit zwei Perkussionisten
verstärkte, macht das Ganze noch surrealer. [ba 59 rbd]

Bad Alchemy
Rigobert Dittmann - Bad Alchemy


Free improv that distances itself from the manipulative hacks that attempt to create such controlled chaos. Mahlon Hoard is a saxophone genius (all of these tracks were taken from the first take) while slicnaton joins him painting an ethereal backdrop with loops, samples, and a dizzying array of subtle percussion.
J-Sin Smother Magazine - Smother Magazine


noisefloor EP 2008

Trio slicnaton Glinkowski Slaton Sparacino 2008

Mahlon Hoard slicnaton 2006



Trio slicnaton fits squarely between european free improviastion and modern electronic music typically sharing playlists with artist as diverse like Albert Ayler and Aphex Twin. Think free jazz improvisation gone Stockhausen.