Roberts has played a variety of solo gigs and played with some of the heavyweights of electrical/acoustic improvisation. Be Mine Tonight shows how Roberts has moved from electronic texturing into songwriting and arrangements, combining rock music and sound manipulation.
Be Mine Tonight is a recording of songs. Slow, often wrenching songs where the brush of a cymbal, a voice or a plucked string can have great impact. Through arrangement, processing and editing Dean Roberts has crafted out rock that presents listeners with familiar forms as it challenges them with oblique gestures. Improvisational and electronic strategies are ably utilized to push the dimensions of rock songs played by a group of people together in one room.
As Roberts told Grooves magazine; "The idea was that we would do something with really elaborate arrangements using largely acoustic instrumentation. Something like a 60s recording, and in place of a string quartet or orchestra playing harmonic parts, it was approached like imagining a contemporary music ensemble was used instead."
Be Mine Tonight is the very first production of a young engineer and composer Valerio Tricoli, a rising name in the world of improvisational music. It was recorded in Bologna , Italy from Dec. 2000 to Dec. 2002. Giuseppe Ielasi, of Fringes Recordings and a legend of Italian improvisational guitar, contributed prepared guitar, as did Christian Alati. The deft drumming by Antonio Arrabbito marks his recording debut. Roberts played acoustic and electric guitars, piano, percussion, bass, harmonium and glass harmonica.
Dean Roberts began working with Werner Dafeldecker (Polwechsel) and Martin Brandlmayr (Trapist/ Radian) on a new album in the spring of 2003. Live performances and recording sessions saw the development of a definite band dynamic and the trio decided to take on a proper band name to reflect the three way creative input. In April 2003 the new trio, christened Autistic Daughters, began recording at Chrisopher Amann's studio in Vienna, Austria. Then, in a period from October through December 2003 Dean Roberts did additional recordings with Valerio Tricoli (who was so instrumental to the success of Be Mine Tonight) in Bologna Italy. Werner Dafeldecker and Dean Roberts mixed the album, Patrick Pulsinger mastered it and Jealousy and Diamond was sent off to kranky.
Given Werner Dafeldecker's experience in improvised music as a member of Polwechsel and Martin Brandlmayr's position in two bands that ably balance rock and electronics (Trapist and Radian) Autistic Daughters are very much more than Dean Roberts plus rhythm section. As Roberts told dB magazine while on tour in Australia in Feb. 2004;
We are able to say and do what we want, and the vision is entirely collective."
The seven tracks on the trio's debut, Jealousy and Diamond, continue the exploration and mutation of the rock song roberts undertook on Be Mine Tonight. It is the band's first statement. Autistic Daughters plan some European touring in late 2004 and early 2005.
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