this almost seems… well, odd… when put next to the other Avant releases I’ve posted so far. infectious, catchy, indie-with-a-hint-of-no-wave-influence songs from a femme-trio that would almost seem more at home on Kill Rock Stars or something. the fact that it came out instead on a Zorn-run label where it seems so out of place makes it even more perfect than it already was. the fact that it’s a whole lot better than most other bands fitting a similar description (that’s right, I’m talking about you Sleater Kinney) is just icing on the cake (groan… sorry).
anyway, don’t just take my word for it
another Avant release spearheaded by Laura Cromwell and featuring a bevy of guest musicians on different tracks, as far as I can tell. for a picture of what it sounds like, imagine the aesthetic of The Shaggs filtered through the sensibility of a downtown NY artist and you’d be pretty close. like a lot of releases featuring aspects of improv it can be hit and miss, but there are some brilliant moments here, including “worry”, “a gift from france”, “ho-down” and a dub-sensible version of the infamous “you’re no good”. and let’s not forget to mention the downright disturbing narrative juxtaposed with children’s songs in “satansatan”.
get it here
another Avant release… not much to write at this point, as I haven’t yet had the opportunity to revisit this in as much depth as I’d like before trying to say something about it… but since I’m trying to maintain a Wednesday + weekend posting schedule…
get it here for now
and maybe I’ll update with some more comments later.
another Avant release of improv, of which the most recognizable participants are vocalist Tenko (known also for her work with Ikue Mori) and turntablist Otomo Yoshihide. truth be told, it would be fairly uneventful without Yoshihide’s contributions – the rest of the instrumentation is the standard g/b/dr/v set-up… and even with his contributions, some tracks toward the middle of the release tend to lose my attention… but they are bookended with superior tracks like “Metabollic Love Sphere”, “In Convolution”, “Fragments Realm” or the title track. it’s hit-and-miss like most improv, but the “hits” are definitely worth a listen.
get it here
continuing the “Avant resurrection project” yet again with this collaboration between Buckethead and “Brain”. jumping everywhere from twisted funk to overdriven drum-machine beats to acoustic guitar/bongo jams (which almost seem like piss-takes) and of course the obligatory extended solo-electric piece… truth be told, this is probably a bit of an endurance test even for fans of the two… but it still has enough moments of brilliance to be worth the not-so-great bits.
get it here
in the on-going saga of the “Avant resurrection project”, here’s a group that more or less tailor-made themselves for release on a Zorn-curated label. the story goes that they started out transcribing Naked City charts and playing them live. they got brave enough to approach Zorn with their work at a Painkiller show and he was duly impressed… enough so that he eventually encouraged them to write their own material and record an album to be released on his label. given their beginnings, you’d be guessing correctly to think that this sounds a lot like Naked City… but you can’t say that like it’s a bad thing.
get it here
another Avant-resurrection with this Wayne Horvitz led outfit, also featuring alto saxophonist Briggan Krauss, bassist Fred Chalenor and drummer Mike Stone. stylistically rooted in jazz, with excursions into other downtown-NY-isms (most notably in the bass department) and occasionally veering into more chaotic territory ala Horvitz’s more “famous” output with Naked City.
get it here
… that’s John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Wayne Horvitz and Bobby Previte, names that should all be recognizable in their own right. with track titles like “Bleeker & Bowery” I think the theme here is obvious enough. what I know nothing about is the impetus behind the four of them getting together to do this project… so instead of waxing intellectual on that I’ll share my own experience with this record. to make a long story short, there was a record store owner of whom I was a regular customer in the mid/late-90s, who found me all kinds of things that were difficult at best to track down in the pre-internet age. among other things, this would include Fifty Foot Hose’s “Caulron” and Omoide Hatoba’s “Mantako”… occasionally, he would plunk an item down on the counter for me that I hadn’t asked him to find, telling me I’d enjoy it. this disc was one such item. he knew my tastes well, evidenced by the fact that this disc has held a high spot in my collection since that day. as best as I can tell it’s not currently in print, though there does seem to be used/old-stock copies kicking around at various distros, such as this one. easily worth the price of admission if you can spare the change for a hard copy.
if not, or if you want to prove me right before you buy, check it out here first.
continuing the “Avant Records repost project”, albeit slowly, this is IIRC the most recent thing that had been posted on the original blog in question before it got deleted or went invite-only or whatever they’re doing this week…
as for the band, some review I read somewhere compared this to Mr. Bungle… I guess that’s vaguely in the same state as the ballpark in terms of the genre-crossing and mish-mash going on here, but this is done with a far more downtown-NY sensibility by – you guessed it – downtown NY musicians. not to mention produced by the mighty Zorn himself. as usual, others have said more interesting things about this group than I have the time or inclination to type, so google them if you want more info.
or just get the most important thing – the music itself – here