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Archive for August, 2012

August 23rd, 2012

InterStatic and Planet MicroJam at GEZMATAZ

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“What time is it?” David Fiuczynski (pictured) quizzed the audience well into his set at the outdoor Arena del Mare as boats on the water twinkled enticingly behind him. “It’s Beethoven time,” he thundered back, probably the three most unlikely words uttered during this RareNoise Records double bill. Performing microtonal music with his trademark double-necked guitar specially tuned to allow for the band’s distinctive quartertones, the maverick guitarist had the underused microtonal keyboards of young Turk Utar Artun to his side, while the main direction came through his duetting with English violinist Helen Sherrah-Davies. Kansas City drummer Alex Bailey, and the colourfully dressed Memphis bass guitarist Dywane ‘MonoNeon’ Thomas cooked up a mysterious heat around ‘Micro Emperor’, a fragment of Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto.

Fiuczynski’s set, based on music from the Planet Microjam record – he’s now heading up the Microjam Institute at Berklee in Boston too – was a compelling snatch of a style of music you rarely get to hear, certainly not in a jazz setting. Sun Ra’s ‘Sun Song’ originally on the 1957 album Jazz By Sun Ra was for me the outstanding performance of the night, and let’s hope we hear more on this side of the Atlantic again from violinist Sherrah-Davies, who like Fuze also teaches at Berklee. Earlier, English organist Roy Powell, now living in Norway, brought his Interstatic band to open proceedings. This prog organ outfit, with Tord Gustavsen Trio drummer Jarle Vespestad in unlikely jazz-rock barrier busting mode and ECM guitarist Jacob Young bluesy and articulate on his solos, allowed Powell to channel Keith Emerson and even the late Jon Lord into the soup of his lively style. He explained to the audience that Interstatic play like Tony Williams’ Lifetime, most evident on their tune ‘The Elverum Incident’, but with a few modern twists. Yet the band took leave of this inspiration many times during a set only slightly hampered by a pedal of Young’s guitar needing to be replaced. Playing material mainly from the eponymous Interstatic release Powell got well and truly stuck in like some sort of hippy organ guru specially attuned to the sultry Genoese night. He’s definitely back with a bang.

Stephen Graham for JAZZWISE

August 23rd, 2012

Metallic Taste Of Blood’s Eraldo Bernocchi Interviewed by TheQuietus

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One of the most frustrating things about being a fan of heavy metal is that the all too many people think that the entire scene is like one giant, global version of Heavy Metal Parking Lot on infinite repeat. It isn’t. In fact arguably it continues to produce some of the most diverse and forward thinking music around – why can’t you grow up on a healthy diet of Kiss and Motörhead, and then eventually find yourself playing guitar in front of the Dalai Lama as part of a free improv collective performance that includes, amongst others, seven Tibetan monks, a Japanese Trumpeter and legendary bassist Bill Laswell? Because as strange as it sounds, as part of Somma, that’s exactly what Eraldo Bernocchi did. And what he continues to do through more recent, more metal orientated bands – the sludgy, yet near-operatic Obake and the Colin Edwin featuring Metallic Taste Of Blood.

Although currently a member of two bands, Bernocchi’s first serious musical venture, the industrial-tainted world/noise outfit Sigillum S, was created with the specific intention of being totally against the perceived notion of what a ‘band’ is, with members and collaborators dropping in and out as they saw fit. Since then his collaborations have veered from the warped, beat driven noise of Black Engine – featuring Mick Harris and members of Zu – to the ambient, guitar only drones of Parched, with Ephel Duath’s Davide Tiso. And all this from someone who has Lamb Of God’s latest album on heavy rotation on his iPod and (rightly) believes Slayer to be the best band in the world.

In the lounge of a small hotel in Wroclaw, Poland, the morning after Obake’s headline set at the Asymmetry festival, the Quietus caught up with Eraldo to find out about his latest projects and to try and keep up with his truly heroic intake of espressos (we failed miserably at the latter).

Hi Eraldo, that’s quite a few espressos you’ve got there! Anyway, can you tell us a little bit about how this Metallic Taste Of Blood project came about?

EB: I did a project called Parched, a record called Arc, together with Davide Tiso, the guitarist from Ephel Duath – only two guitarists, it was an ambient record, kind of like a soundtrack thing. Then, one day I got an e-mail from a friend who said, ‘Look, Parched is in the end of year top ten of Colin Edwin from Porcupine Tree – it’s one of his favourite records’, I think it was number three or something, so obviously I was like ‘Whoa, what the fuck?’ And after a couple of days Colin contacted me on MySpace and said that he loved the record. I wrote him back and we started to exchange ideas and at a certain point we said ‘Ok, let’s try and do something together, maybe the result will be interesting.’

At the very same time I was producing the Obake record, so I was working with Balazs, so invited him to be involved and we started to work on some tracks. Colin came to my place two or three times, we worked on tracks, put together some ideas – very open structures. After a while we started to say to each other, y’know, where are we heading with this? Are we going with a trio? No. We needed some other voice – but I didn’t want to have a vocalist because that would have made it Obake number two, basically. I didn’t want to have, like, a trumpet or a saxophonist either, because I’d already worked with those recently.

Then Balazs had this idea of involving Jamie Saft, and I said, ‘Well, why the hell not?’ Jamie is one of my favourite keyboardists – notwithstanding Jamie loves Slayer, Black Sabbath, ZZ Top and all this stuff – so there was a lot of connection there. We started to discuss this with Jamie and he was totally into it and we started to work on things.

Are you a fan of Porcupine Tree?

EB: Yeah. I mean, not a massive fan, I like a lot of what they do – especially the last two albums, The Incident I love. But it’s a mix; it’s one of those things where sometimes they are too overly complex for my tastes. For instance, Steven Wilson, he’s one of the most incredible musicians that has surfaced in the last 20 years, I think.

The improvisational aspect is key to your other ‘band’ project, Obake…

EB: Well, I would say that a good 30 percent of what we play live is improvised – but the album is totally improvised.

So presumably that’s the same with MTOB?

EB: Yeah, me and Colin put together ‘structures’ – we just give a name to the madness and try to encapsulate things. What I try to avoid, it’s something I really hate, even when I’m producing bands, is the ‘cut and paste’ thing. I hate that. Let’s play things for real! The real shit!

Generally speaking then, do you have skeletons of tracks or basic ideas before you enter the studio?

EB: No. Maybe I’ll be thinking ‘Yeah, I have this riff that I like’, Colin will say ‘Well, look, I have this bass line in mind’ or Balazs will be doing certain things; we’ll just be jamming. And when we’re jamming, if we’re finding something that we like we’ll record it – 20, 30 or even 40 minutes – and develop it. So that’s basically how all the tracks are made.

Colin is known for his often bizarre time signatures – how was it trying to establish a connection with him, musically, at first?

EB: The connection was there right from the beginning really, I didn’t struggle with playing together at all. In the very beginning I had to change my musical perception a little bit. But that’s part of the fun, right?

EB: Well, I’m used to working on so many different things that I’m always Obake-sizing myself and shapeshifting, so it didn’t take long. There’s one track on the record that is in 7/8, it’s very drum & bass-y, almost a bit tribal, and on that track I only did droning guitars because I tried so many different things every time it was sounding like fusion or something. Because the drums and the bass are so precise, with that piano line on top, putting a groove on top of all that was spoiling everything.

That being the case, and with the amount of improvisation going on live, how much is Obake more or less a live band than a recorded one?

EB: I was asked the same question by another guy just yesterday actually. I never had bands in the past because I hated the concept of ‘bands’, I hate the idea of playing the same shit every night. To me that is unbearable, I’ll never understand how people can do, like, 200 gigs playing the same fucking songs every night – to me that is unconceivable. What I like is to have some structures, that replenish my energy, and to have open sections. For example, the last track that we played last night – ‘The Human Genome Project’ – on the record there is no improv part but over these last three of four gigs we have started to develop this improv part – we never know how long it’s going to last, it could be five minutes, it could be ten seconds, it depends on how we look at each other, how Trevor and Balasz are working with bass and drums. That for me is the key, that’s the only way I can imagine a band.

And do you see MTOB as becoming a live project at any point?

EB: Oh yeah, totally, we are thinking about that – we are actually thinking about it as a proper ‘band’. There’s a lot of people asking if there’s going to be another album already too, but it’s like, c’mon, enjoy the first one first! But yeah, we’re thinking about doing some festivals or something.

Changing track slightly; we talked a little bit last night about some of the first records you’d bought – Elton John, Kiss, etc – and, of course, your love of Slayer. Yet with Obake and MTOB especially, the influences don’t seem quite so obvious…

EB: Ahhhh… But I listen to anything, absolutely anything!

So those early record are just the seeds that things grew from, or do you still draw inspiration from Love Gun or Capitan Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy?

EB: Oh yeah, totally, totally. It’s like, for instance, Kiss were my idols when I was 10, 12, and as a teenager, and they are still there – if I listen to ‘Deuce’, ‘Detroit Rock City’ or ‘Cold Gin’ for instance, I love it, I mean, it’s something that is there. The guys from Asymmetry [Festival, Poland] they did for their website a long, long interview with me – I mean, it’s endless! – and they asked me about the five records that are most important to me; that’s Reign In Blood, Ace Of Spades, Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing and then you have The Pearl by Brian Eno and Harold Budd, and Closer by Joy Division. I mean, how can you fit them together?

I only had five, otherwise I could have even put stuff like Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue and A Love Supreme by Coltrane. But I don’t know if in my music you can feel that influence. Tangerine Dream are another one, they were a major influence on me, especially in terms of the electronic parts. And actually I don’t really care if people can pick it out!

Last night, for instance, I had a very good time with Trevor during the last track, during the last part of ‘The Human Genome Project’, I recognised that the bass line he was playing in that very moment was the bass line from ‘100,000 Years’ by Kiss, so I played on top of that the guitar riff from that song – and it worked perfectly, it’s like four bars of, like, a quote, but nobody will discover that. It was great fun!

Improvised or not though, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of positivity in the sound of Obake, especially with Lorenzo’s vocals – parts of it sound almost anguished…

EB: To be honest with you, I can tell you honestly, I’m really, really tired; I’ve been a dark, negative, negative person for a long, long time in my life – coming from industrial music and all the darkness – there’s a dark side to me. But I’m tired of doing all that shit. It’s obvious that Obake is not something that you listen to at the beach, it’s not something that you pump out under your parasol like [in a girlish falsetto] ‘Yeah, ‘Human Genome…’ by Obake, yeah!’, but you’ve got to have a serious sense of humour – and I want you to underline serious sense of humour – if you want to survive the fact that this fucking planet is doomed.

So, we’ve got a record that is heavy, kind of dark sometimes, and sometimes it opens up with light, melodic parts and stuff like that. Lorenzo’s vocals I think are reflecting that, he’s sad in moments and he’s raging and angry in others. Some evenings on tour we play without a single fucking smile, we barely even look at each other, except for me and Trevor, and some other evenings, like yesterday, it was like ‘Yeah, rock & roll!’ and with those guys bringing those [shop dummy] legs on with them. I like it like that. It’s not diminishing the value of what’s happening.

Metallic Taste Of Blood’s self-titled debut is available now via RareNoise records. To listen to tracks from the album, head to their website.

Photo by Bruna Rotunno

August 23rd, 2012

MOLE – JAZZWISE feature and other press

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Dear Friends,

MOLE (Mark Aanderud, Hernan Hecht, Luri Molina and David Gilmore) have been featured in this month’s JAZZWISE Magazine TAKING OFF feature!

Get Your copy of Mole from these shops

here is a track from their recently released “What’s The Meaning?”

Here’s the Jazzwise feature

 

Here’s the Jazzwise review that ran last month

 

and a GREAT review of MOLE on PROG Magazine (by the wonderful Sid Smith):

MOLE’s “What The Meaning?” is indeed “HAUNTING AND MAGNIFICENT”!!

 

August 23rd, 2012

Animation – Transparent Heart – out 25 September 2012 – First Press

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Dear Friends,

Animation, a.k.a. Bob Belden on Sax/flute, Pete Clagett on trumpet, Jacob Smith on bass, Roberto Verastegui on keyboards and Matt Young on drums, are about to release their first studio album in a decade, “Transparent Heart”. Pre-Orders will start on the 25th of September or shortly before that date

AVAILABLE FROM / FROM WHAT DATE/  IN WHAT FORMATS:

  • www.rarenoisestore.com / pre-order from 25 th September / CD Digipack 4 panel with booklet, digital .FLAC and digital .mp3
  • All Digital Stores (Itunes/Emusic/Spotify/etc) / 25th September / digital .mp3
  • Online Stores (Amazon/HMV/etc) worldwide via CARGO, DARLA, GOODFELLAS etc / 1st October 2012 / CD Digipack and digital .mp3

This is the wonderful cover by Petulia Mattioli

and here a track from “Transparent Heart”, “Provocatism”

For the time being we would like to share some of the press the recording has generated until now – here on JAZZWISE MAGAZINE, who has run a very large feature on Bob and Animation this month! (and on MOLE too!!!)

 

 

 

and finally the 4 STAR review!

Here is a video of their recent AMBISONIC SURROUND performance at the Tabernacle in London

and at the Vortex Jazz Club

August 19th, 2012

Metallic Taste of Blood Reviews (Part 2)

Comments Off on Metallic Taste of Blood Reviews (Part 2)

Here's another round-up of some more reviews of the Metallic Taste of Blood album: The Quietus Subbacultcha ATTN magazine Jazz and Blues CyclicDefrost Something Else Reviews have put us here in their half year list of best Fusion Jazz albums of 2012. Jazzwrap Another couple I can't understand from Italy here and here Terrorizer:
Prog Magazine:
From Canada:
Nine Hz
Anyone wanting to download a track from the CD, can hear one on the latest Rarenoise Records Free mp3 Sampler, and the album itself is available here Best, Colin

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