Thursday, November 27, 2008

HurdAudio Rotation: Double-ö Dönkey

Donkey Monkey: Ouature. 2007. Umlaut Records: UMCD 0005.

Yuko Oshima: drums, voice, sampler
Eve Risser: piano, voice, turntables

This one is completely ridiculous. And I say that in the widest sense of joy carried in that word. This one boogies off the track. Then woogies back on. All the while splashing a tight irreverence along a solid piano/drums duo plus turntables, prepared piano, voice and whatever else one can throw at a sound without losing a sense of joy an chops. In short: ridiculous fun! Highly, highly recommended.

Chicago Tentet: American Landscapes 1. 2007. Okkadisk: OD12067.

Peter Brötzmann: clarinet, tarogato, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Mats Gustafsson: baritone saxophone, slide saxophone
Ken Vandermark: clarinet, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone
Joe McPhee: trumpet, alto saxophone
Hannes Bauer: trombone
Per-Ake Holmlander: tuba
Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello
Kent Kessler: bass
Paal Nilssen-Love: drums
Michael Zerang: drums

What better way to observe the American traditional Thanksgiving Holiday than a pure blast of Brötzmann driven expression of humanity through a prolonged scream realized in free jazz style through the medium of the Chicago Tentet? A landscape of nuanced brutality. A single movement that snakes through the urban and the underground gritty sincerity of placing horn to mouth and blowing one's brains out the other end. Aggressive, jarring and unbelievably beautiful.

Peter Brötzmann/Michael Zerang: Live in Beirut. 2005. Al Maslakh Recordings: 03.

Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone, tarogato, clarinet
Michael Zerang: drum set, darbuka, percussion

Another concentrated dose of that Brötzmann intensity, this time paired down to the sax and drum configuration that he frequents. The setting of Beirut - something only audible through knowing this was recorded there - adds a dimension to the unflinching coarseness of this duo collaboration. The willingness to apply sandpaper to the eardrums when called for makes the expression more credible. Though there are moments of relative solitude. Often just long enough to allow for healing. This serves to heighten the overwhelming sense of not knowing where the next aggressive gesture will come from. A fitting aesthetic for a city constantly on edge with the unsettling violence that inevitably erupts.

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