Anenon’s ‘Tongue’ LP is contemporary classical in excellent form

Brian Allen Simon has aged with poise. Though it’s just been two years since the saxophonist Anenon released his LA beat scene-inspired album Petrol, his latest Tongue LP is a representation of the sheer stylistic growth that many only hope to achieve in a lifetime.

Having immersed himself in Italy’s Tuscany region since his last release, Simon spent his time recording a new LP in the attic of a 16th-century villa; describing the new work as an “abstract articulation of love, loss, fear, addiction, confidence, longing, hope, and sadness.”

The emotive phenomena Simon’s articulated has seeped into every facet of the work, but in contrast to his previous material, Simon’s stripped back his cacophonous melancholy and lessened his off-kilter improvisations. Instead, the dulcet deliverance is a polished avant-garde masterpiece. Tongue points to both Simon’s growth as an artist and like composer Nils Frahm’s recent album — an impressive alignment with the shifting contemporary classical scene.  

As meandering ebbs and flows move from evocatively ambient works like “Two for C” or “Mansana” to raw texturized numbers like “Pure,” it becomes clear that Tongue’s a scintillating masterclass in contemporary classical, but perhaps most importantly, it’s clear Tongue that cements Anenon as a commanding force in modern classical and electronic music’s great convergence.

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