original recordings by Brian Noring and Hal McGee
Des Moines, Iowa October 2001
mixed by Hal McGee February 2002
Download the album to view complete album artwork in the zip file
review of Random Sound Generator by Jerry Kranitz in the July 2002 issue of Aural Innovations:
If Chris Phinney brings out Hal's more space cosmic side, Brian Noring brings out the more avant-garde abstract sound sculpture side (not that Hal needs much encouragement for that). In fact, Random Sound Generator includes what looks like the whole Noring family, plus Phil Klampe and Dave Wren. Actually this set isn't nearly as harsh as a lot of McGee/Noring collaborations and what makes it particularly interesting is the expanded instrumentation like guitar, piano, percussion and what sounds like maybe some other string and wind instruments that add a free-improv musical element to the sound sculptures.
So we've got the classic Hal conversation samples, plus free-improv with guitar, percussion, flutes, keyboards and piano. The opening track, "Window Shopping For Concepts" is like Sun Ra meets the Residents in a crowded bar at a carnival. Two of my favorites are "Himalayan Train Derailment" and "Searching For Lost Intentions", both of which really highlight the free-improv musical jams combined with voice samples á la Hal's Wired For Sound CD (see review last issue). I particularly liked the former, which includes wild free-improv noise electronics and classical music. The deep bass has kind of a rocking chaotic Fred Frith sound and more of that Sun Ra out there jazzy organ and freeform/modern classical piano, some [relatively] ambient bits... and, of course, a non-stop parade of banging, clanging and assorted sounds. Overall, this CD may well be my favorite example of Hal's use of everyday sounds combined with sound sculptures and... GASP!... actual music. Hell, there's even bits of Blues guitar. Multiple listens will surely reveal something new every time.