Rights by Schnellertrollermeier.
Bandcamp Link: Rights

Maximalist minimalism. Instrumental trio of Guitar, Bass, and Drums.

They get compared a lot to the band can, but, to be honest, they remind bit more of Battles and a lot more of King Crimson, circa their amazing album “Red”. Something about the hyperactive rhythms and the lack of guitar solos. (I do really like the guitarist’s use of harmonics, specifically a for rhytmic motifs.) Hypnotic and kinetic, the patterns they play are continually evolving and changing.

And every once in a while the whole band coalesces into a pretty heavy, head banging groove.

Most Excellent.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #SchnellerTrollerMeier #Rights #AndySchellmann #ManuelTroller #DavidMeier

No Agreement

No Agreement by Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Africa 70.
Bandcamp Link: No Agreement

There’s a good story about Lester Bowie in, “Message to Our Folks: The Art Ensemble of Chicago”.

The Art Ensemble had finished up a European tour and most of the band headed back to the US.

Lester had some money left and decided, as an African American musician, instead of going home, he wanted to go to Africa and play with the biggest name in African music of the time, Fela Kuti.

So, without knowing anyone in Nigeria, he booked a flight to Lagos. He gets to the hotel, drops off his bags, grabs his trumpet. Hails a cab. He asks the cab driver to “take me to Fela”. Amazingly, the cab driver does not flinch and drives the crazy American Jazz musician right to Fela’s compound.

Bowie arrives unannounced, shows Fela his trumpet, and Fela decides to audition him right then and there. Fela pulls out a Jamey Aebersold record and tells Lester to play along. Blues in B Flat. Lester, of course, aces this audition, and stays in Nigeria for several months playing with Fela’s band and absorbing the culture.

The book says Bowie played on 5 of Fela’s albums during his stay in Nigeria from June to August of 1977, but this album is the only one I can find which credits Mr Bowie. He is a featured guest and takes a solo on both tracks. For my money, he acquits himself with more grace on the instrumental track, “Dog Eat Dog”.

Mr Bowie said about the experience, “Music life is a great time, if you just go on and trust it.” 

#FelaKuti #LesterBowie #NoAgreement #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #Africa70

Proton Pump

Proton Pump by Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi with Masahiko Satoh.
Bandcamp Link: Proton Pump

Chikamorachi is the bass and drum combo of Darin Gray and Chris Corsano. They usually include a guest or two on each album. Reed player Akira Sakata is one of their more frequent collaborators. He is a Japanese woodwind player who is probably best known in the West for his appearance as a guest saxophonist on Last Exit’s “The Noise of Trouble” album.

I wasn’t familiar with keyboardist Masahiko Sato, but he brings the Cecil Taylor-esque multi handed polyphonies to keep up with way above the speed limit playing of Corsano, Gray, and Sakata. Interestingly, I also hadn’t remembered that Sakata played clarinet. For someone primarily known as a Sax player, he plays a pretty mean clarinet.

This is Energetic “Free Jazz”, with some Bebop-ish runs and the odd Jazz/Blues lick. It will get you to work faster than you usually drive.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #Chikamorachi #DarinGray #ChrisCorsano #AkiraSakata #MasahikoSatoh

Radiant Imprints

Radiant Imprints by James Brandon Lewis and Chad Taylor.
Label Website: Radiant Imprints

While I’ve recently listened to a few Sax/Drum duos by Binker and Moses, the record this reminds me the most of isn’t one of theirs, but, “Another Kind of Groove”, by Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual trio. Not just because of Mr Taylor’s use of Mbira (or Thumb Piano) as an instrument on a couple tracks, but also because Mr Lewis is surprisingly lyrical and melodic in his playing, as Billy Bang is on the violin on the Ritual Trio album. (Though, I do especially like the sound of the really low pitched Mbira that is deployed on some of the tracks.) Another point of comparison might be the Kahil El’Zabar and David Murray’s duo album, “Golden Sea”. Like Mr El’Zabars music, this is wonderfully atmospheric, groove based Jazz. Not easy listening, but a pleasure to listen to.

#JamesBrandonLewis #ChadTaylor #RadiantImprints #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack


Helm by Hobby Horse.
Bandcamp Link: Helm

When I’ve put my albums up on bandcamp, I guess I take an unusual tack with the selection of songs. I’ve usually got two jazz standards arranged for clarinet quartet, two harsh electronic pieces, and a couple improv solo tracks for whatever instrument I’m working on. I figure, if one of my theoretical listeners doesn’t like a song, I should give them something else on the next one. Not to mention represent the breadth of my interests.

Helm seem to be kindred spirits in the eclectic astral-musical plane.

This album starts with a fairly standard jazz trio workout for Bass Clarinet, Bass, and Drums. Then moves to a tune based around dance-like electronic bass and live percussion. Then some pretty sick drum and bass type stuff with sax. “Buckle” is a return to some nice atmospheric jazz, but traffics a bit in fusion tropes towards the end. “Born Again Cretin” sounds like it could be from a Robert Wyatt album. And ‘Amundsen – Evidently Chickentown” is, well, is a 21st Century version of John Cooper Clarke’s “Evidently Chickentown” embedded in the middle of an extended atmospheric electronic music piece that wouldn’t be out of place on a Roland Kayn album.

Like I said, fellow travelers on the “eclectic” astral-musical plane.

#Helm #HobbyHorse #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #DanKinzelman #JoeRehmer #StefanoTamborrino

All Nerve

All Nerve by the Breeders.

A lot of my middle aged friends are listening to this new Breeders album, so I thought I should give it a listen.

Produced by Steve Albini, the classic “Last Splash” lineup of the Breeders has resolved (or forgotten) their differences and reunited. Kim and Kelley are both sober, and like the rest of us, middle aged.

It certainly sounds like a Breeders album, though a lot of the songs make me realize a) that the Breeders sound a bit like wire b) many of the good bits of the Pixies came from Kim Deal.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #TheBreeders #AllNerve

A Philosophy Warping, Little By Little That Way Lies A Quagmire

“A Philosophy Warping, Little By Little, That Way Lies A Quagmire” by KONSTRUKT & Keiji Haino.
Bandcamp Page: A Philosophy Warping, Little by Little, That Way Lies a Quagmire

This one surprised me. I am pretty familiar with Haino, but only have heard one other album by Turkish improvising group Konstrukt.

Konstrukt included synthesizers in this line up which gives it an altogether more SciFi feel than their album with Marshall Allen, “Vibrations of the Day”. This is all over the place in a most enjoyable way, ranging from folkish melodies, to full on SciFi freakout, to something that is nearly modern electronic music.

Far freaking out.

#KorhanFutacı #UmutÇaglar#BerkanTilavel #ErdemGöymen #KeijiHaino #Konstrukt #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #LobeliaLaxiflora


Director by Yonatan Gat.
Bandcamp Page: Director

Another band I heard of from online acquaintance Joel Berk (aka @pfcidb on most social media). Given his predilection for guitar skronk, it is no surprise that this guitar, bass, drum trio is a sort of psychedelic surf combo. Well, if psychedelic surf bands played at tempos well above 200bpm.

Cheery, gruff, awesome, and enjoyable way to start the day.

You don’t need coffee with this album playing.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #YonatanGat #Director


Insecurities by ADT.
Bandcamp Link: Insecurities

On this release ADT is a quintet of Guitar, Drums, Saxophone, Electronics, and Keyboards. The lack of bass unmoors them, leaving the drums, keyboard, and electronics as focus, with sax and guitar weaving in and out from time to time adding texture.

Eclectic squonk and squiggle often with more in common with early Tangerine Dream or Pink Floyd than “Jazz”, per se. Thoroughly enjoyable.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #ADT #Insecuties #JakeAcosta #BenBillington #CarlosChavarria #KyleDrouin #AdamTramposh

Real Enemies

Real Enemies by Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society.
Bandcamp Link: Real Enemies

Inspired by the events and policies which took shape in America after the attacks on the twin towers, Darcy James Argue has crafted a suite of songs which draw from diverse aspects of 20th Century music.

Incredibly ambitious in its scope, Real Enemies weds small, well chosen audio samples from presidents and public figures with complex arrangements which alternate between inspiration take from 20th Century “Classical” music and 20th Century “Popular” music. Despite all those serious aspects, it is a really fun album. It all sounds a little bit like “spy music” from films and television.

You might have a Latin Jazz inspired piece nuzzled against something that evokes Minimalism. Or funk snuggling with 12 tone. Or even modal free jazz playing over Glass-esque minimalism (which works surprisingly well!). This is a amazing, rewarding, and challenging listen. Highly recommended.

#DarcyJamesArgue #DarcyJamesArgueSecretSociety #RealEnemies #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack