Misha Alperin has been something of a shadowy presence in the annals of ECM. His previous albums—namely, Wave Of Sorrow, North Story, and First Impression—marked him as an enigmatic musician of sparse yet effective language, at times of humor and gaiety. But if you want to know how the Ukrainian-born pianist’s heart beats, the forms his dreams take, let At Home be your looking glass. The aching lyricism of the title track, which opens this collection of improvised pieces, is all you need to know what’s going on: a private, reflective session surrounded by Alperin’s most familiar things. Recorded at his home in Norway, where he has lived for the past two decades, the program unfolds in a mosaic portrait of the artist in various stages of emotional awareness.
If ever there were a popular work of minimalism, one that stated its purpose so clearly it could not be mistaken, Terry Riley's legendary composition In C is the one. It is a work that needs no explanation for its pulsing sequences of pitch all centering around the 53 phases of no duration played on the note and its performances have been numerous–even if there have been relatively few recordings of it. The Bang on a Can all-stars have recorded perhaps the most innovative version of the work thus far, after Riley's own, which was issued in the 1960s on Columbia's long defunct Odyssey label.
Motörhead's overwhelmingly loud and fast style of heavy metal was one of the most groundbreaking styles the genre had to offer in the late '70s. Though the group's leader, Lemmy Kilmister, had his roots in the hard-rocking space rock band Hawkwind, Motörhead didn't bother with his old group's progressive tendencies, choosing to amplify the heavy biker rock elements of Hawkwind with the speed of punk rock. Motörhead wasn't punk rock – they formed before the Sex Pistols and they loved the hell-for-leather imagery of bikers too much to conform with the safety-pinned, ripped T-shirts of punk – but they were the first metal band to harness that energy and, in the process, they created speed metal and thrash metal. Unlike many of their contemporaries, Motörhead continued performing into the next century. Although they changed their lineup many, many times – Lemmy was their only consistent member – they never changed their raging sound.