Elliott Sharp/Bootstrappers: GI = GO. 1992. Atonal Records: ACD 3014.
Elliott Sharp: guitar, bass clarinet, processing
Jan Kotik: drums, percussion
Thom Kotik: prepared bass
Elliott Sharp working his guitar with a powerful, tight rhythm section from the era when I developed a strong identification with his aesthetic. This sound continues to have a pull for these ears as the familiar timbral language pulses and throbs. The jagged, dissonant angles running in lock step with a forceful willingness to keep time within abrasive materials. While the music has aged well, the titles for these tracks have not. "Optimize My Hard Disk, Baby" makes me cringe over the text even as the improvised sound bearing its name resonates deeply.
Dave Douglas: Freak In. 2003. RCA Victor: 09026-64008-2.
Dave Douglas: trumpet, keyboards, voice
Jamie Saft: keyboards, loops, programming
Marc Ribot: electric guitar
Karsh Kale: tabla, drums
Joey Baron: drums
Romero Lubambo: acoustic guitar
Brad Jones: ampeg baby bass, acoustic bass
Ikue Mori: electronic percussion
Seamus Blake: saxophone
Chris Speed: saxophone, clarinet
Craig Taborn: fender rhodes
Michael Sarin: drums
"Put on your headphones and FREAK IN. Call on world leaders to do the same." I freakin' love Freak In! From the coursing, electric opening of the tablas to the sonic montage of groove and melody to the mellow turns of "Maya" flowing into the explosive 4-against-3 rhythms in "Traveler There Is No Road" this is an assemblage and snapshot of who's who of the downtown New York scene under the relentless creative vision of Dave Douglas. And it just sounds better and solidifies as a touch stone of a sound I simply love. "This is also important. Have fun and don't let them stop you."
Rene Lussier/Martin Tetreault: Dur Noyau Dur. 1997. Ambiances Magnetiques: AM 057 CD.
Rene Lussier: acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Martin Tetreault: tourne-disques, pick-up, radio
This recording places the ears at an extreme proximity to the sounding sources. Ear drums placed impossibly close to the struck guitar string or coursing within the same electrical wiring that powers the amplification of signal and noise. A confluence of free improvisation within musique concrete. Or a musique concrete aesthetic operating within a free improvising duo. A sonic microcosm almost completely devoid of anything beyond its sounding machinations. Noise turning upon an indifference that both challenges one to listen and try to turn away. In the end, the ears return to this world. Changed in some way. Defiantly beautiful. Defiantly ugly.