Non Credo | Impropera

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Rock: Progressive Rock Electronic: Experimental Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Impropera

by Non Credo

Impropera - An improvised, improper, importuned, imp opera in three phases. New release on the French label Musea. “Headphone food for those who understand the value of a challenge fortified by vigor, imagination and the will to Dada instead of doo-dah.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Prima Punta
1:27 $0.99
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2. 8 Bit Whore
3:13 $0.99
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3. Hubris and Greed
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4. Bella Donna
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5. Trouser Role
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6. Faux Afro
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7. Deep, Deep Down
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8. Via Nino
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9. Heaven Help Us
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10. Interval One
0:42 $0.99
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11. Sicka Siam
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12. Stock and Trade
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13. Sleeping Beauty
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14. Odor of Sanctity
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15. Interval Two
0:45 $0.99
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16. Faux Cazzo
3:12 $0.99
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17. Laptop Dance
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18. Vienna Fingers
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19. Epilogue
2:23 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Non Credo is the duo of Kira Vollman and Joseph Berardi. She’s a singer, he’s a drummer, but their musical palette extends well beyond the scope of their primary instruments. Clarinets, marimbas, accordions, cellos, broken down keyboards, cheap electronics, altered children’s toys and anything else that falls into their path are utilized. Their sound, with its quick-witted arrangements and Teutonic expressionism balanced by a whimsical attitude, falls solidly into the RIO (Rock In Opposition) camp.

Their new release, Impropera, is a bit of a departure from their previous multi-layered approach to recording. Capturing the spontaneity of their live performances, they present an “improvised opera”. Utilizing Kira’s remarkable vocal range and a musical landscape of bass clarinet, percussion and unusual samples, they lead the listener on a journey with many detours and dark alleys along the way. Be prepared to get seasick, beaten up, thrown in jail, fall in love, contract an STD, have your heart broken, your wallet stolen, get shanghaied, hog tied and crucified.

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Reviewed by Sean Moore aka Lid Emba

Walking into the neglected geometry of grease, metal and wood that is Coney Island, one passes a weathered flat of ancient freak show ads that have miraculously survived decades of being kissed by dirty sand and oily salt. While shred-prone and pallid, these bygone images of human deformation and trickery are still recognizable and uncomfortably magnetic. Non Credo's Impropera release taps into similar veins of tragic grotesquery, spooky romanticism and the endless appeal of the travails of mans frail flesh transmuted into entertainment for the jaded. To put it much more plainly, imagine if The Residents had been lapsed Julliard grads with Bunuel-addled, cosmopolitan sensibilities instead of Zappa-obsessed, disaffected pop-culture hating hippies, and you get closer to the achievement and methods of Non Credo, the duo of Kira Vollman and Joseph Berardi. Presented as a series of interconnected sonic vignettes, the density and convoluted momentum on Impropera demands much of the listener, primarily the capacity to assimilate an expression with its own internal and inscrutable logic, one that is creepy, tactile and absolutely anti-ambient in its ability to consume the waking world once play is pushed. Vollman's voice, an implacable and deliriously prismatic force to be reckoned with, serves as narrative beacon throughout and is capable of instantaneous ruptures and unforeseen juxtapositions, from the blazingly operatic to Yoko Ono yelps and Shelly Hirsh glossolalia to Yamatsuka Eye gymnastics. Plus she can blow a mean bass clarinet, be it skronk or Stravinsky. The proceedings are anchored throughout by the keys and global culture landfill sifting sampladelia of Joseph Berardi, who manages to design a purgatory saloon where the jazz age mingles with the afro-cuban and Pierre Henri, Jim Thirlwell and Raymond Scott spike the drinks. Impropera is headphone food for those who understand the value of a challenge fortified by vigor, imagination and the will to Dada instead of doo-dah.

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Reviews


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Matt

Wow what can I say but wow.
First off I would say that 5 stars is not enough to review this CD. It is plain great. Everything is great. All the songs sound great, the production, the sounds, the lyrics everything. Overall this CD I think is a large step in a new direction from Happy Wretched Family, which is very good and I like that new element and feel to it and keep it up the great work, and it seems you two worked very hard for this album and you wanted it to be great and it is nothing below these standards.
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Matt

Wow what can I say but wow.
First off I would say that 5 stars is not enough to review this CD. It is plain great. Everything is great. All the songs sound great, the production, the sounds, the lyrics everything. Overall this CD I think is a large step in a new direction from Happy Wretched Family, which is very good and I like that new element and feel to it and keep it up the great work, and it seems you two worked very hard for this album and you wanted it to be great and it is nothing below these standards.
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MASSIMO RICCI of Touching Extremes

Enjoy its brutally caressing, delicately sandblasting, strong-minded aesthetic.
There are several reasons that justify my instant liking of Non Credo, arrived at their third album in 18 years (why don't you learn, dysentery-struck self-releasers?) and - mea maxima culpa - for the first time to my attention with "Impropera". One of them is their very name, which in my idiom means "I don't believe" or "I don't think so", thus involuntarily representing my way of reacting to most anything that happens. Then again, their titles mix various languages in absurdly funny meanings, an illustrious example being "Faux Cazzo" which I'll gladly leave you to translate. On top of all this, their music reveals so many facets and layers that every listening session adds peculiar pleasures and improbable ingredients to an already satisfactory recipe. Joe Berardi is a percussionist who uses samples - make that "composes" with samples - on the spot, during improvised anti-structures or preconceived architectures; Kira Vollman is a portentous vocalist, also playing bass clarinet in a way that could make many respected instrumentalists green with envy. "Impropera" (which is a fusion of Improvised Opera but it also could mean "Insults" in Latin) contains nineteen tracks that were originally played by ear, yet the duo was so well practiced in their rendition that they decided to record them as a sort of "impromptu compositional documentation". I won't be annoying you with the dozens of (often unlikely) comparisons that I found on the press release; in that sense, all I found is a slight contact with the Shelley Hirsch/David Weinstein duo every once in a long while. But it ends there, as Non Credo have their own distinct axioms and postulates - and a great sense of humour bathed in cinematic sauce. Noirish atmospheres, implausible songs and hilarious hurly-burly are interpreted by Vollman with Teutonic power, munchkin edginess and needlepoint accuracy; some of her lines are technically frightening and, at one particular moment, her vibrato in the high range had me thinking about Gizmo singing the main theme of "Gremlins", if you're familiar with that one. Berardi eviscerates his samples, raising car-horn hells and pulsating mental hop-scotches at the flick of a couple of switches, transposing a contrabass until it sounds like a jew's harp and having a dozen of non-existent march bands clash in state-of-the-hiss, 8-bit wonderful sonic miasmas; yet, it all sounds like a well-refined score. I could add another thousand words but I'd probably still fail to convincingly describe this fantastic album. Add it to your daily necessities at least for a couple of months and enjoy its brutally caressing, delicately sandblasting, strong-minded aesthetic. Am I exaggerating? Non Credo (sorry, I couldn't resist).
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Rigobert Dittmann / bad alchemy

die kollidierende Extreme und gewagte Manierismen lieben
19 Jahre nach Reluctant Hosts (NML) führte mich ein Link des Schicksals auf die MySpace-Seite von Kira Vollman & Joe Berardi und die kuriose Hate-Mail-Kontroverse über ihren letztjährigen Streich, die komische Oper "Impropera". "I do not as of now wish to have any sort of relationship with anyone who would throw noises together in such a terrible way", schrieb da einer, der partout kein Freund von NON CREDO sein wollte. Der Anlass für diese Aversion läuft nun bei mir im Repeatmodus und ist nicht einfach zu beschreiben, aber nach allen mir bekannten Kriterien ein Anschlag auf das Zwerchfell und eine Herausforderung für die Hirnregionen, die für Frischeschocks und prickelnd Undefinierbares zuständig sind. Das Lustprinzip neigt nun mal dazu, dem Realitätsprinzip eine Nase zu drehen. Zur ‚Oper' qualifizieren sich die drei Akte ‚Nudo e Crudo', ‚Sono Confuso' & ‚Faccia Brutta' durch "high drama, a foreign language, acrobatic vocalizing, repeated musical motifs and colorful characters." Nur ist die Musik, die aus dem Orchestergraben herauf schallt, von Berardi ausschließlich per Samplingkeyboard kreiert. Für das Libretto und das akrobatische Belcanto ist Vollman zuständig, dazu spielt sie eine irre Bassklarinette und perkussive Verzierungen. Was da erklingt, spaltet. Von den 3632 Myspace-Bummlern, die an ‚8 Bit Whore' schnupperten, machen 3550 verschreckt den Deckel schnell wieder zu. Dabei malen Pandora & Joe nur einem von Jim Thirlwells opulent-perversen Foetus-Soundtracks einen surrealen Schnurrbart an und stecken ihn in ein Exoticakostüm, das Dali für Kabuki entworfen hat. Vollman tiriliert, wispert und sprechsingt in der Manier einer Catherine Jauniaux, einer Yma Sumac, eines Klaus Nomi, Zeilen wie "Deep, deep down, way underground / In the belly of the beast I found my way." Horrorgeschichten wie ‚Sleeping Beauty' folgen auf giftige Phantasien wie "Lunching on a Munchkin / Who was munching quoting Pushkin / When I crept up with a pushpin / and I popped his little ass" oder unappetitliche in einem Gefängnis in Bangkok: "Dreaming of cats and rice for lunch / Dreaming of dogs and rice for dinner / Waking to find only roaches and mice." (‚Sicka Siam') So schräg die Poesie ist, sie wirkt fast rechtwinklig im Vergleich zur Musik und den überkandidelten Manierismen der Vokalisation, die hochdramatisch Gipfel krasser Bizarrerie erklimmt. Auf diese Bizarrerie führt schon Alex Gross hin mit seinem Covergemälde ‚The Burning of Tokyo'. Non Credo sind übrigens auch durch Myspace auf Gross und seine von japanischen Holzschnitten, viktorianischen Werbeplakaten, Dix und Grosz und Flämischer Gothik inspirierten Arbeiten gestoßen. Mit Impropera geben sie seinen ‚amazing asshole quivering masterpieces' die passende Stimme und den entsprechend ‚amazing' Sound. Vielleicht ist das nicht ‚Prog' genug für Usbekistan, aber "hilarious hurly-burly" (M. Ricci) zuhauf für Leute, die kollidierende Extreme und gewagte Manierismen lieben.
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Ferrara Brain Pan

It's inventive, it's amusing, it's mysterious, it's entertaining...check it out.
Evidently this group has been around for many years, releasing albums on respected indie fringe music labels like Victo and Musea, but the MySpace friend invite they sent me was the first I'd heard of them - Being a duo (the woman sings, they guy plays all kindsa instruments), Non Credo situate themselves in the avant-rock camp known as 'Rock In Opposition' or RIO, meaning they make deliberately weird music that is intelligently informed by free jazz, progressive rock, avant-garde classical, and a willful attitude of creative transgression - Kira Vollman has obviously done her homework, and "Deep Deep Down" displays the influences of Meredith Monk and Yma Sumac - Other tracks feature musique concrete elements, lounge music detournements, freakish bass clarinet solos, and beat poetic excursions - I would've sworn that "Laptop Dance" was a mid-1960s Sun Ra piece until the samples kicked in - It's inventive, it's amusing, it's mysterious, it's entertaining...check it out.
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Nuno at ProGGnosis

Strange and unique, Impropera is an experience that will undoubtedly leave fans
I just have to say that Musea’s press-release about this album is most amusing. And it does say something about this album that can perfectly represent its musicality…I am talking about the last sentence, which describes possible feelings set upon the incautious listener…

I am not acquainted with this band’s previous releases, but what I can easily conclude is that Non Credo’s music is totally different, bizarre and extremely original. And the use of these adjectives is not even enough to make it justice. But the truth is that the right ones are very hard to find.
Non Credo is a duo, which is really hard to imagine when you start listening to the album, as so many instruments and gadgets are used that you can almost swear this is a full ensemble’s work.
The first impact (if it’s possible to choose one) will probably be provoked by Kira Vollman’s operatic voice, which is really fantastic and adds flair and emotion to the bizarre music that most of the times dwells behind. But all the other components of this bands musicality have some sort of impact on the listener.
Taking in consideration that Non Credo plays a sort of hybrid between Rock-in-Opposition, Avant-Garde, Chamber, Experimental and Zeuhl, you may well start to imagine the real extension of imaginative grounds this band walks. The instruments used to achieve this are countless, and may include children instruments, toys, objects of some sort and also some real music instruments (ehehehe), mainly of a percussive and keyboard nature. Also clarinet, accordion and strange basing samples are used with eloquence.
Strange and unique, Impropera is an experience that will undoubtedly leave the listener of its right target (fans of the most intriguing, bizarre and experimental music) salivating with the same ease it will make a casual listener and those who like more melodic and direct neo or symphonic approaches completely dazzled and running for their lives…
Where do I fit in these categories?? I'll keep it a secret!
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