Jeff Snyder/Federico Ughi: Duo (Carrier Records, 2018)

August 4, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jeff Snyder/Federico Ughi: Duo

Following a solo album of Buchla improvisations released earlier in the year, Jeff Snyder joins with drummer Federico Ughi on this album of robot free jazz. The rolling, tumbling, stop-start rhythms of improv jazz are present, but the horns, guitars, and other instruments are replaced by brittle analog synth tones, often heavy on fuzz and static. Much of the tracks are pretty freeform but also compact, with the two musicians having control over their outbursts and managing to be in something resembling sync with each other. “Consider Sacrifice” is a 15-minute sprawl, however, starting out largely quiet and sparse before erupting and showering sparks during the final third. “Bad Bishop” gets in some mean powerdrill riffing before melting into scrapes and buzzes. “Good Knight” is much hotter, with frenetic drums and laser-like synths which approach Sun Ra at his most electrified. “Attacks Aren’t Everything” is a short reflection with more shimmering synths which kind of warp and curdle, then “Should You Fianchetto?” is more of a direct attack (and even shorter). The album ends with the straightforward cold-gaze rumble of “Useful Interposition”.

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