Thursday, April 10, 2008

eh?ven more: dukeman/barrios/makihara and sad sailor

Another couple of eh? releases - this may get posted before some earlier ones as I need to give breketc another listen, while these spoke out clearly, and are shorter!.

Dukeman, Barrios and Makihara are on tenor, bass and percussion for We need you - a live improv recording (eh?38). There are three tracks in 33 minutes and they work a similar vein. The sax goes through all sorts of changes across the album, squonking squarking liquid breathy popping calling tones - combined with jerky jumping bass and percussion (which varies from full kit rhough to twangy stick sounds). The die is cast early and the album follows this thread - with changes. Such as a fairly fast percussive solo that opens the third track or the bowed bass in the same one (which adds a welcome new sound). The second track is perhaps faster and fuller and faster, but all three have variations of both density and speed. So this is not a radical new departure in improv trios, and there could be some ironi responses to the title, but there is nothing wrong with album, rather nothing new. But those who enjoy this searching straining form of music will like this.

There are a host of people (7)
who make up Sad Sailor, playing guitars, cello, bass, synth, trumpet and drums. Three tracks on Link to the outside world may be live, but at a minimum they are raw studio recordings: a few times you can hear whoever the leader is counting the change. The image comes from their myspace site which describes them as shoegaze/folk/americana and the track that plays is quite folky. However this album is quite far from that. Juice the room opens with a melancholic cello with some strumming and keys behind before a couple of count in-s and the group moves in: drums, guitar, tones paralleling the cello and playing along, but then building a head of steam to develop a murky wall of sound, the drums in the foreground and instruments either emerging from the density or being able to be picked out. There is a false fade, a group rebuild and then another fade. We are straight into the wall in Radiant evil. Drum and bass provide a basic rhythm, the guitars are more to the fore (there are three) and a melody can be felt in the mix (and even hints at the groups folk-roots). Ringing guitars in Down at weirdo park are then combined with another pulsing sound assault, here the trumpet is featured, and the track ends the album with a well paced fade as instruments leave, balancing the opening. The combination of components here provides a satisfying mix of a full-bore sound(water)fall with an air of musical sensibility - and at 28 minutes it doesn't overstay its welcome.