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.

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