Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trios: Songs From My Father (Whaling City Sound, 2021)

September 15, 2021 at 8:26 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trios: Songs From My Father

Drummer and bandleader Gerry Gibbs’ latest project is a tribute to his father, 96-year-old living legend and vibraphone master Terry Gibbs. Following in the footsteps of his father’s Dream Band, Gerry assembled four Dream Trios, whose lineups live up to the group name, with Chick Corea, Patrice Rushen, Ron Carter, and Christian McBride among the astounding personnel. The compositions draw from Terry’s catalog dating back to the 1940s, but everything sounds fresh, contemporary, and full of joie de vivre. It’s also notable that none of the Dream Trio members play vibraphone — the album focuses on the timelessness and flexibility of the compositions rather than trying to ape the composer’s sound or style. The cartoonish yet virtuosic “Nutty Notes” and “Gibberish” are both fun highlights, and a few songs like “Sweet Young Song of Love” and “Townhouse 3” have a refreshing Latin influence to them, with Gerry ripping on the percussion. Chick Corea’s piano playing seems particularly vibraphone-like, and his MiniMoog parts shine as well. Corea was one of the driving forces behind the album; he contributed an original, “Tango for Terry”, and there’s a track called “Hey Chick” dedicated to him, taking part of a 1961 vibraphone recording by Terry and featuring solos from all of the Dream Trio lineups. Sadly, Corea died earlier this year, while the album was being finished, making this his last recorded work, and a tribute to his legacy as well as Terry Gibbs’.

Maximum Ernst: Perfect Mixer/Matchless Pair tape (ever/never records, 2021)

September 14, 2021 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Maximum Ernst: Perfect Mixer/Matchless Pair tape

Following a ghastly yet meditative 12″ last year, Maximum Ernst returns to the tape format with this half-hour collection of shortform shapeshifting odysseys. Subliminal voices and overcalibrated motors collide with primitive, burbling drum machines, taking you on a fun yet dangerous cruise. A short track near the beginning serves as an ominous warning as well as a sneak preview (“don’t forget, it’s coming soon”). “Richard Motor Hits The Wall” is 7 minutes of revved-up industrial/no wave/motorik clanging which crashes into a wall of prickly guitar noise at the end. “Reverend Island” starts with a wavering ambient loop and crackling sounds before also becoming engulfed in a thick blanket of noise. “Vanity Mirror Universe” and “Suspended Sentence” have tripped-out drum machines which topple over each other, and in between them, the shorter “Komovar Chant” has more voltage running through it, making it feel far more tense, without the combustion of some of the tracks on the first side.

Mind Maintenance: s/t LP (Drag City, 2021)

September 13, 2021 at 7:37 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Mind Maintenance: s/t LP

Two longtime Chicago music scene figures who have occasionally made records together (for example, both were in Sticks and Stones, along with Matana Roberts), Chad Taylor and Joshua Abrams made their first album as the duo Mind Maintenance with a limited setup of traditional African instruments. Abrams plays the guimbri, a three-stringed skin-covered bass lute, and Taylor plays an mbira (thumb piano). Recorded and mixed by Cooper Crain, the instruments are upfront and unadorned, letting their natural vibrations ring out. Some of the tracks kind of bleed into each other, but there’s some exciting moments when the rhythms become complex and especially hypnotic, as on centerpiece “Valence”. Somehow the first time I listened to this, I felt like the first side went on forever, but listening to it again, each side goes by really quickly, and when they switch to a new piece, the shifts in rhythm make an audible impact, lifting the experience to a new level.

Show #598 – 9/12/21

September 12, 2021 at 12:15 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

2:00 am The Magnetic Fields ~ 100,000 Fireflies ~ Distant Plastic Trees ~ Red Flame ~ 1991
2:03 am The Magnetic Fields ~ Take Ecstasy with Me (Susan Anway vocal) ~ Oh, Merge: 10 Years of Merge ~ Merge ~ 1993
2:08 am Low ~ Hey ~ HEY WHAT (new) ~ Sub Pop ~ 2021
2:15 am Arooj Aftab ~ Last Night ~ Vulture Prince (new) ~ New Amsterdam ~ 2021
2:21 am The Bug ft. Manga Saint Hilare ~ Bang ~ Fire (new) ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2021
2:24 am 박혜진 Park Hye Jin ~ Where Did I Go ~ Before I Die (new) ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2021
2:26 am Fear-E ~ Gladiator Rhythm ~ Mechanical Music For Brighter Days (new) ~ Dark Entries ~ 2021
2:31 am Clyde automaton ~ Porsche Challenge [Josh’s 4 AM Mix] ~ RALLY FINISH (new) ~ DOMEOFDOOM ~ 2021
2:35 am New Age ~ Cosmic Consciousness ~ Transformation ~ Dark Entries ~ 1982
2:44 am East Axis ~ I’m Cool With That ~ Cool With That (new) ~ ESP-Disk’ ~ 2021
2:49 am Maximum Ernst ~ Komovar Chant ~ Perfect Mixer/Matchless Pair (new) ~ ever/never records ~ 2021
2:52 am The New Me (local) ~ Our World/A Blank Way to Look at the World ~ ELEKITIRONIKISIZ ② ~ Nostilevo ~ 2020
2:57 am Cultural Fog (local) ~ 2 ~ Cultural Fog II ~ Boudoir ~ 2019
3:00 am Blue Lab Beats feat. Braxton Cook ~ We Will Rise ~ We Will Rise (new) ~ Blue Note ~ 2021
3:04 am Sir Victor Uwaifo and his Titibitis ~ Aibalegbe ~ Edo Funk Explosion Vol. 1 ~ Analog Africa ~ 1982
3:08 am Codek ~ Tam Tam (Daniele Baldelli & Marco Dionigi Remix B) ~ Tam Tam Remixes ~ Dark Entries ~ 2019
3:15 am Uncle Victor Chuks & The Black Irokos ~ Onwu Uwa ~ The Power ~ BBE Africa ~ 1984
3:23 am Penny Penny ~ Ingani ~ Yogo Yogo ~ Awesome Tapes From Africa ~ 1996
3:28 am Sly & Robbie ~ Santa Barbara ~ Red Hills Rd. ~ Taxi/Tabou1 ~ 2020
3:32 am Lucifer [Mort Garson] ~ Exorcism ~ Black Mass ~ Sacred Bones ~ 1971
3:34 am Chouk Bwa & The Ångströmers ~ Sali Lento ~ Vodou Alé ~ Les Disques Bongo Joe ~ 2020
3:37 am Moritz Von Oswald Trio ~ Epilogue ~ Dissent (new) ~ Modern Recordings ~ 2021
3:41 am Jamal Khe ~ L’Étranger (Ana Gharib) ~ Endangered Species Vol. 1 ~ Dark Entries ~ 1983
3:45 am Sophie Nzayisenga ~ We Can Do It | Turashoboye ~ Queen of Inanga: Music from Rwanda ~ Antonovka Records ~ 2021
3:50 am Vijay Iyer/Linda May Han Oh/Tyshawn Sorey ~ Augury ~ Uneasy (new) ~ ECM ~ 2021
3:53 am Mogwai ~ Like Herod (Alec Empire’s Face the Future Remix) ~ Kicking a Dead Pig: Mogwai Songs Remixed ~ Jetset ~ 1998

Clyde automaton: RALLY FINISH (DOMEOFDOOM, 2021)

September 11, 2021 at 12:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Clyde automaton: RALLY FINISH

I’m listening to this EP out of context because I happened upon it without hearing last year’s Rally Start first. But this is an excellent, brief set of explosive rave mashup business loaded with familiar samples and killer basslines. A little less jokey than prime Shitmat, but just as joyous. Definitely more geared toward the rave ecstasy side of things, but with massive breaks and a hypercharged jungle rush. Only 12 minutes but not a moment is wasted. The last track samples Krome & Time’s “This Sound Is For The Underground” and it has the most vicious choppage, nearly ending with a violent crash but somehow getting away clean.

East Axis: Cool With That (ESP-Disk’, 2021)

September 8, 2021 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

East Axis: Cool With That

This album documents a casual improv session between four jazz heavyweights (pianist Matthew Shipp, drummer Gerald Cleaver, saxophonist Allen Lowe, bassist Kevin Ray), each of whom challenge each other and push their fellow musicians into different spaces and states. The best moments are the ones where they throw caution to the wind and just scramble like mad, as on the fun, chaotic “Oh Hell I Forgot That”. “I’m Cool With That” has moments that seem straightforward but then it keeps careening wildly and bounding down various detours, to bewildering effect. Then “One” is a nearly half hour tour-de-force which shifts rhythms and moods, starting out more scattered and ruffled, and frequently erupting into bursts of energy. Even throughout its lengthy runtime, it rarely seems to let up, and just barely mellows out for the last few minutes before it bows out.

Cameron Knowler: Places of Consequence (American Dreams Records, 2021)

September 7, 2021 at 7:13 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Cameron Knowler: Places of Consequence

Guitarist Cameron Knowler’s new album primarily consists of short, impressionistic compositions which make up a vivid picture of the American West. Equally proficient in jazz, folk, bluegrass, and experimental idioms, he plays in a warm, technically accomplished manner, and all of the tracks on this album have different purposes and moods. A sparse, delicate cover of “I’m an Old Cowhand” opens the album, sounding intimate and inviting, like you’re just happening upon him playing curled up on the couch in his living room. “Sonora Road” is a shuffling ode to his hometown accompanied by the flatfoot dancing of Erica Braverman. “Supertone Biome” is more of an aquatic tone poem than a song, just hinting at a submerged mood. “Done Gone” is actually a fiddle tune played on guitar, and it sounds like it even if you aren’t familiar with the song itself. “Don Bishop A” is a down-home lullaby, and “Atelier de Stein” works as a short, jazzy coda to it. “Cat Spring” starts as a leisurely banjo pluck before he picks up the pace with an almost nautical guitar version of the same tune. There’s another song played on banjo (“Lone Prairie”) and one with mandolin (“Lena’s Spanish Fandango”), but he’s such a versatile player that some of the guitar numbers sound like the other instruments and vice versa; he finds a common language in the instruments and adapts his style to them.

Fear-E: Mechanical Music for Brighter Days (Dark Entries, 2021)

September 6, 2021 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Fear-E: Mechanical Music for Brighter Days

Glasgow’s Fear-E provides music to cruise down a neon-lit motorway into a brighter tomorrow. The techno tracks are strong and functional, with “Escape From the Hive” having a buzzy rave edge to it and “New Cycles” providing some Axis/M-Plant-style energy. But the electro tracks are where he truly excels. “D10S” glides down the fast lane with snapping snares and arpeggiated horsepower, with micro-edits and DJ tricknology ensuring that the track never settles into autopilot. “Gladiator Rhythm” is a galactic sprint which splashes a drop of lush house vocals into the spin cycle. There’s also some pounding, squiggly acid with “Tinfoil Hat”, which has a delightful way of sounding both spontaneous and tightly focused.

The Red Microphone: And I Became of the Dark (ESP-Disk’, 2021)

September 5, 2021 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Red Microphone: And I Became of the Dark

Bringing together a few veterans of the downtown NYC jazz scene as well as co-producer Ivan Julian (Richard Hell & the Voidoids) and poet John Pietaro, the newest Red Microphone album on ESP-Disk’ recalls the freak-rock acts of the label’s early history as well as various jazz and creative music ensembles from throughout the eras. “Revenge of the Atom Spies” definitely morphs from bongo-driven psychedelic beat music to freewheeling violin, sax, guitar, and drum solos. “Blue” is a jazz poem with raw, feverish instrumentation backing the clear-cut yet sometimes highly spirited words about some of the biggest legends of the genre. “Burroughs Inferno” is more about a sizzling night at a jazz club than its title suggests, but it does allude to the author’s likeness. “When Reagan Was Bad” is a vicious reminder that horrors of the past half-decade were foreshadowed by the former B-movie star who sat in the Oval Office during most of the ’80s. Finally, “Viva La Quince Brigade” is a timely update of a popular protest anthem from the Spanish Civil War.

Show #597 – 9/5/21

September 5, 2021 at 11:04 am | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

1:01 am Upsetters ~ Black Panta ~ Upsetters 14 Dub Black Board Jungle ~ Upsetter ~ 1973
1:04 am Dub Syndicate w/ Lee “Scratch” Perry ~ Dubbing Psycho Thriller ~ Echomania ~ On-U Sound ~ 1993
1:09 am Upsetters ~ Underground ~ Super Ape ~ Mango ~ 1976
1:12 am The Congos ~ Fisherman ~ Heart of the Congos ~ Blood and Fire ~ 1977
1:18 am Upsetters ~ Grumblin’ Dub ~ Arkology ~ Island Jamaica ~ 1976
1:22 am Lee Perry ~ Roast Fish & Cornbread ~ Roast Fish, Collie Weed, & Corn Bread ~ Lion of Judah ~ 1978
1:25 am Lee Perry & the Upsetters ~ Dub Revolution (Part 1) ~ Arkology ~ Island Jamaica ~ 1975
1:30 am Lee Perry ~ Open the Gate Dub ~ King Tubby Meets Lee Perry: Megawatt Dub ~ Shanachie ~ 1977
1:34 am Upsetters ~ Enter the Dragon ~ The Compiler Vol. 1 ~ Rectangle ~ 1975
1:36 am Lee “Scratch” Perry/Adrian Sherwood ~ Secret Laboratory (Scientific Dancehall) ~ From the Secret Laboratory ~ Mango ~ 1990
1:42 am Lee Perry/Mad Professor ~ Why Complaining? ~ Super Ape Inna Jungle ~ Ariwa ~ 1995
1:47 am Lee “Scratch” Perry ~ Mind Worker ~ Heavy Rain ~ On-U Sound ~ 2019
1:51 am Lee “Scratch” Perry & Peaking Lights ~ Dub Magik ~ Life of the Plants ~ Stones Throw ~ 2019
2:00 am William Basinski ~ Silent Spring ~ Lamentations ~ Temporary Residence ~ 2020
2:04 am The Bug feat. Flowdan ~ Hammer ~ Fire (new) ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2021
2:07 am Low ~ Disappearing ~ HEY WHAT (new) ~ Sub Pop ~ 2021
2:11 am Comme À La Radio (local) ~ Pt. I ~ Figuring a Room ~ Boudoir ~ 2019
2:18 am Lockbox ~ Spoilers ~ Spiritual Malware (new) ~ Primordial Void ~ 2021
2:20 am Raxon ~ Vice ~ Sound of Mind (new) ~ Kompakt ~ 2021
2:24 am Brandee Younger ~ Somewhere Different ~ Somewhere Different (new) ~ Verve ~ 2021
2:30 am SlowPitchSound ~ Thought Patterns ~ Sights from the 5th Dimension ~ Bandcamp ~ 2020
2:31 am Nihiti ~ In Practice of Injury ~ A New Kind of Weather ~ Lo Bit Landscapes ~ 2016
2:33 am Anz (feat. George Riley) ~ You Could Be ~ All Hours (new) ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2021
2:37 am CFCF ~ Punksong ~ Memoryland (new) ~ BGM Solutions ~ 2021
2:38 am Apollo Brown & Che’ Noir ~ 12 Hours ~ …As God Intended ~ Mello Music Group ~ 2020
2:42 am DJ Muggs the Black Goat ~ Liber Null ~ Dies Occidendum ~ Sacred Bones ~ 2021
2:46 am Orion Sun ~ Grim Reaper ~ Hold Space for Me ~ Mom + Pop ~ 2020
2:49 am Joy Orbison ~ Froth Sipping ~ Still Slipping Vol. 1 (new) ~ XL ~ 2021
2:52 am wzrdryAV ~ Zone 4 ~ Data East (new) ~ The Jewel Garden ~ 2021

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