A Dance That Empties

A Dance That Empties
A Dance That Empties

A Dance That Empties by Subtle Degrees.

Bandcamp Link: A Dance That Empties

I’ve been listening to this album all week.

Not because it is super long, but because it is super dense.

It is a Tenor Sax and Drum duo album from Travis Laplante, (of Battle Trance and Little Women,) and Gerald Cleaver, (of Farmers by Nature and Black Host).

Travis Laplante is well known, along with his other compatriots in Battle Trance, for extending the tonal vocabulary of the Saxophone. “Extended Technique” and all that. He is also an extremely melodic player.

But, when I first heard about this album I was wondering, where would Gerald Cleaver fit in?

Most saxophonists who traffic in arpeggio based extended technique and saxophone multiphonics do it solo. With all that going on, there’s just not a lot of room for other players to fit in.

So, I sort of put off listening to it for a while.

Foolishly, it turns out.

Mr Cleaver is a great foil for Mr Laplante, translating his complex saxophone polyrhythms into an ever changing sea of even more complex drum motifs. Somehow finding the accent points in Mr Laplante’s playing and using them to create rhythmic units.

The album is made up of 3 pieces. All three include passages of solos and duos.

Mr Laplante’s playing utilizes some of the same techniques as an Evan Parker or a John Butcher, but it feels more controlled and spacious than those men’s often extremely dense work. Which I guess leaves more room for others.

Though, some of the tempos these two build to are just nuts. The third piece, especially, Mr Laplante has a particularly long section where an arpeggio speeds up and speeds up until it is going so fast it is a single modulated tone. Nuts.

The funny thing, as I was thinking about this today, is the rhythms of A Dance That Empties often feels not so much like “Jazz”, as an extension of the type of playing that might accompany a Shakespeare play, Renaissance music, or an English traditional dance. Well, OK, a totally nuts Morris Dance Ritual, perhaps performed by extremely nimble goats.

#ADanceThatEmpties #TravisLaplante #GeraldCleaver #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

A Dance That Empties

Cuts Up, Cuts Out

CutsUpCutsOut
CutsUpCutsOut

Cuts Up, Cuts Out by Cuts.
Bandcamp Link: Cuts Up, Cuts Out

Say you’re walking along, and you only have your phone or your iPod or your walkman.

You start having a heart attack. Your heart stops.

If you’re lucky enough to have “Cuts Up, Cuts Out” on your device, quickly flick to that album, turn your device up to 11, and lie down.

I feel certain that it will restart your heart.

If not, well, it’s a pretty great soundtrack as you speed up and away from this mortal plane.

Cuts is a group along the lines of a less polite “Last Exit”.

Take no prisoners noisey improvisation super group involving Reedist Mats Gustafsson, Masami Akita (aka Merzbow), Balazs Pandi of Zu, and, of all people, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.

If those people don’t mean anything to you, you probably won’t enjoy this music. Or, if you only know Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth’s Dirty, rather than his contribution to the Dietrich/Sauter/Moore album “Barefoot in the Head”, this may come as something as a shock to your system.

If those people mean something to you, you probably already know, as the press release suggests, “‘Cuts Up, Cuts Out’ is a snapshot of the four musician’s uncanny groupthink during a live performance at the Church of St John at Hackney at the end of September 2016. Spanning the highly exotic manifold of music dimensions of free noise, free and spiritual jazz, power ambient and grindcore, ‘Cuts Up, Cuts Out’ will cathartically renew and elevate the listeners Geist from the inside.”

#CutsUpCutsOut #Cuts #MatsGustafsson #ThurstonMoore #MasamiAkita #Merzbow #BalazsPandi #RareNoiseRecords

Cuts Up, Cuts Out
Cuts Up, Cuts Out