Sunday, August 26, 2007

VIOLENCE JAZZ

Received a massive package of stuff this week from the gracious, hyper-industrious Brooklyn label Tigerasylum. Haven't made it through it all yet, but my general impression is that Mr. Schranz has unearthed a lot of choice free-improv splatter, roughly akin to what Mr. Kriney of Color Sounds has also dutifully excavated. In fact, there's some personnel overlap there, as both Herr Kriney and La Otracina guitarist Ninni Morgia are part of the rock-solid Quivers ensemble, and Mr. Morgia also participates in both the salty splatter of The Right Moves (along with Storm&Stress/Talibam! drum-annhilator Kevin Shea) and the sprinting trio Trauma Unit. So, clearly there's some thick spice in the underground water reserves up in NY lately, and Tigerasylum is admirably swimming in it.

Despite the general Brooklyn-centric thrust of the Tigerasylum roster, so far I find myself gravitating most to a CD-R called Protection, by a Boston trio called Violence Jazz. Now, before I explain why, please indulge for a few moments my juvenile aversion to bad band names. For some reason I'm just really picky about what band names sound good to me (I think it's fair to say I don't let that pickyness affect what I think of the music), so given that rather unfair outlook, it's probably best if I stop discussing band names here...but, c'mon, Violence Jazz? Could we be a little more on the nose, for a double-sax wielding group given to noisy extrapolations on jazz-based improv? Also, using a genre in your band name? That almost never works, especially when the only other word is a super-cliched descriptor. Might as well call yourselves Blues Hammer, for god's sake...

Luckily, Violence Jazz's choice of what to play and how to play it is a lot sharper than their choice of name. Their forward-crashing improv is as raging and adrenaline-addicted as anything else on the Tigerasylum roster, but they're also fond of bigger noise and drone touches that pushes their stuff into weird, murky, unpredictable arenas. A couple of tracks here are even strictly atmospheric, kinda nightmarishly so, while others combine high-level jazz cacophony with hammering rhythm, dense guitar and electronics din, storm-like clouds of drone, and a few other things, too. I think the second of the six untitled tracks on Protection does all of the above best, carrying a blinding improv opening into a hypnotically plodding beat and back again. It also includes a weird little break with some kind of phone-conversation sample that I can't say I'm in love with, but I certainly didn't see it coming. And that's the attraction of Violence Jazz - it sounds like they're pretty devoted to finding sounds no one is expecting to hear.

mp3:
VIOLENCE JAZZ - (track two) from Protection

1 Comments:

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2:18 AM  

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