Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gorge Trio

The Madeups (2002)



The paradox of free-music is that you can never achieve a wholly free improvisation. Your ideas have to come from somewhere and that somewhere is a cesspool of idioms and cliche. So naturally what you try to do is something which I call multiple fragmented perspective amalgamation. Imagine a portrait of a man's face, painted from all sides, all combined into one image. Space does not allow you to have all perspectives represented equally so thus each perspective compromises itself and becomes fragmented. The result is something nearly unrecognizable, it is a mural of familiar images cut into such tiny pieces and rearranged so that it becomes nearly totally unfamiliar. And nearly totally unfamiliar is the best free-music can aspire to as well. But it also represents reality much better than anything we're used too.

I recently read a quote defining good art as "that which reflects the viewers perspective most accurately back at him." Now take that same man, and make a painfully thorough documentary on his character. Make sure you interview everyone, and leave out the boring crap that everyone feels they have to say. The result is a mural of details ranging from his deepest, darkest secrets, to pure, unsubstantiated rumor, perhaps a man nearly totally unrecognizable to his own family. That's what you really see, isn't it? Things are actually phantoms of what they're supposed to be. Even those trusted, sacred things. You see, Rhythm and Melody are lies, trying to smuggle into your brain a poisonous, false world of trite, cookie-cutter lyrical and musical cliches.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The F and The C

Austin, TX

This here is a three-piece of guitar/bass/drums from Austin, that plays a self-described brand of noise/freerock/absurdist improvisations that might seem obviously comparable to the rattle of disassembled engine parts, individually mutilated and then pieced back together. But it actually sounds nothing like that at all. But I won't blame you for thinking that because it's terribly easy to overthink these things.
Case in point: When you're hearing these individually mutilated parts, you can't help but ache to know which parts were mutilated artfully, and which parts recklessly, right? And you can't help but ache to know what's the difference between the two. I mean, certainly you can bang on your instrument for an hour and call it a 'noise/freerock/absurdist improvisation', right? What's so hard about that? But is that all that they are doing? Are you sure? Then why do people like me eat this shit up? Maybe you're missing something. Maybe you should listen again.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Blue Humans

Blue Humans
Clear to Higher Time (1993)
New Alliance Records

This past week I decided to tie up a few loose ends in my Alan Licht collection, finally finding, among other things, that The Evan Dando of Noise? release from '97, which I just find too funny not to mention here. Anyway, his solo works are all very interesting and I'd recommend them in particular if it were not for his part in this beautiful studio racket from '93.

The recording is two guitars panned hard to the left and right channels respectively. The drums are centered, maybe a bit back in the mix. Someone once described this to me as free-noise, and I've always enjoyed that characterization. The drums splatter around very much in the vein of free-jazz, maybe like a belligerent imitation of Rashied Ali, while the guitars seem to be a wild mess, just raging on separate rants, noteless, unrestrained. But I have a suspicion that if one were to travel in time and sit in on this recording, that the level of coordination observed between the players, whether by design, or improvised, would be surprising. Because there is some quality in these noisy rampages that makes it outstanding, one that I can't quite pin down. Something went terribly right for these three in the August of 1991.

I'll throw up a link to a file with the five tracks later tonight or tomorrow, because I'm pretty sure it's out of print, but I'd like to check first.In the mean time here's one track, "Movement" from another blog. Here's the ZIP.
The CD goes for $.01 used, and under two bucks new, so just buy it already.