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.
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.