Sax & Violence: Ambient Doom Jazz (Atonuv, 2017)

September 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Sax & Violence: Ambient Doom Jazz

Hard-to-define Detroit duo doing hypnotic synth-based music with, yes, sax and violin. The release is titled Ambient Doom Jazz, but this doesn’t quite sound like other acts calling themselves doomjazz (which, to be honest, I’m not really sure what that is exactly). “Slushwave” is a midtempo electronic trawl, but “Empty Balloon” is more upbeat and tricky, with lots of strange violin manipulations and bubbly synths. Also, while the tracks are all exactly 5 minutes long, this song is really only 2 minutes and the last 3 are silent. Maybe it’s on purpose since the title is “Empty Balloon”, like it’s supposed to signify that it’s deflated after that point. “Time Bas” is just a really good convergence of rising, wailing tones and explorative beats. The CD-R we got at WCBN also contains 4 additional tracks from older releases, and they’re all under 5 minutes. Some of the drum machines sound a bit more rudimentary (but pushed to the limit) and the sax sounds a bit more romantic, and somehow maybe sort of klezmer-ish, especially on “How Strong Is Thy Magic Tone?”. “Industrial Science Fiction Lounge” is maybe the closest this get to sounding doomy, but even then it’s more ominous, with rumbling tones and fluttering sax. Some really excellent sound world creation here, and I’m sure they’re just as magical live.

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