Avant Archive

Bob Blaize/Jeph Jerman/Travis Johnson – ‘Sky Bells’ C57
This welcome collaboration brings together three well-seasoned and unique improvisers from the US, in a form that appears very natural and singular. Sky Bells is divided into two pieces, the music inside of which sounds exactly like its descriptor. This is music that, for the most part, floats in the air like a metallic body, edges eroded to an earthy dullness. There is an arid quality to Sky Bells that is reminiscent of something vaguely simpler than our current age. It sounds to me like it could be the lost soundtrack to an extended outtake from Robert Altman’s 3 Women. The superficial details are of course obscured and initially might seem almost boring, but there’s that indescribable feeling of mild terror, like the scene that is occurring has some deep subtext that won’t be explained. Fortunately though, that feeling is so powerful that it occupies the entirety of your attention. Details here would only distract from experiencing the divine. Guest layout and design by Californian Ted Trager.

Eureka – ‘Recognitions’ C45
William Giacchi returns. That prodigal son who absconded from his post at the Magic Lantern, and all but TNT’d the shit out of that mass of Super Minerals. Yes! He’s free, running around town–or flying, should we say? But he’s made a pit-stop here, sat down to tickle the ivories and pluck a string or two. Recognitions is truly free music. You don’t often hear someone sit down and really jam on a piano, but William does so with focused energy and grace. The outcome ends up being, not surprisingly (considering his track record), a very psychedelic-sounding collage of keys and other various instruments. The pieces on Recognitions sound less like they are played and more like the simply are. They just exist like bubbles or clouds, and our man William Giacchi just happens to be the man exploring them and capturing them on tape. This is truly warm, invigorating stuff. Guest layout and design by Californian Ted Trager.

Abyssal Farmers – ‘Sowing & Harvesting’ C44
Funny story, this. Sowing and Harvesting came my way some months ago as an unsolicited demo. Frank Baugh, whom many of you probably know as Sparkling Wide Pressure, was the gift-bearer, so I immediately wanted to give it some attention, which I then did. The music is terrifically diverse in mood and orchestration, really running a long gamut of possibility. The patchwork of pieces oozes a kind of ominous undercurrent that—were this a soundtrack to your life—indicate the imminence of extreme personal danger. It’s hard to say what’s going on, but by the sound of it, you are certain it’s going to be bad. The kicker with this whole project is this: I didn’t even realize straight away that Frank’s partner in this great collaboration was none other than Jani Hirvonen—the great Uton, Hevoset, et al. Well shit! If that doesn’t explain it. The fact was probably stated for me in his introduction, but I tend not to read correspondence very effectively. In any case, I now have an explanation—that’s why this sounds the way it does! It’s fucking SWP vs. Uton!


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