Saturday, October 18, 2014
Spending some time the past month or so with the new album from Kayo Dot 'Coffins on Io' has been a truly gratifying experience. A left turn following their previous leviathan of a release Hubardo; Coffins on Io's strength lies in its unfaltering focus. There's a concision that, rather than feeling narrow, opens up and fortifies a flow of color from out its undercurrent. All the while the expanse one comes to expect from Kayo Dot remains intact. Kayo Dot have accomplished the rare feat of achieving a wonderfully palatable listen (something that too often sets off flags of cheap over-simplification) through avenues of deepening potency. Conglomerate threads of David Sylvian, Bohren & der Club of Gore, Red-era King Crimson, and Type O Negative abound without tangential discursion. The consistency it maintains keeps it fresh and begging for reinvestigation while aptly conjuring sundry visual/emotional topographies. Seldom is it that a record can sustain such a variety of projection, and an absolute pleasure it is to find one that does so as effortlessly. Coffins On Io is out now on Flenser Records.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Battle Trance's Palace of Wind is a piece of music that I've had the fortune of checking out repeatedly over the past year or so live and now on recording. Seeking out a direct corollary for this tenor saxophone quartet would be an absurdity as it is a work of true origin. A river of connection runs through Palace of Wind's framework capably, malleably, suiting itself to the interpretation of individual listeners while remaining compositionally firm (and yet not rigidly so). Amazing from first listen is Palace of Wind's ability to strip away the sense of individual performer. A larger, unified instrument of sonic creation breathes life back into these four who maintain its presence awash in the blurred lines of individual and universe. The iconography of "saxophone music" quickly melts away leaving, wide open, an experiential conduit balanced with such precision that only extended thought/listening can reveal the true depth of virtuosity within. A beauteous and masterful deception unlike anything else. Stepping past obvious parallels I find there is something in this music, in the construction itself, that draws a marked likeness to outstanding experimental, ambient, and tape music works. Classic luminaries like Maurizio Bianchi, Hole In the Heart-era Ramleh, and William Basinski, but also the work of modern masters like Jason Lescaleet and Kevin Drumm come to mind. I highly recommend everyone check Battle Trance out both on record and live (especially fans of the aforementioned for the connection is strong but not necessarily obvious by description). I firmly believe that you'll find yourself, pleasantly ensconced, in the arms of a classic. Palace of Wind is now available through NNA Tapes and New Amsterdam Records.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
For the past week I've been going deep with the new PC WORSHIP album Social Rust. A fully functioning ecosystem straddling the gates to many musical worlds PC WORSHIP draws one in and immediately delivers alien familiarity bountiful in fragmentary parallels while standing firmly individual. It's this maintained coalescence of the wild and the wonted that makes Social Rust such extraordinary listening. Fundamentally catchy blankets of song bring to mind moments from Polvo, Butthole Surfers, and Neil Young's catalogues remarkably redefined with a Charles Ives-like finesse of texture and experiment. That muscular counterweight is wielded with phenomenal expressivity to both blend and bewilder; the resulting balance becomes paramount in founding the core and expanse of Social Rust's beauty. Social Rust is available now via Dull Tools and Northern Spy.