Friday, October 09, 2015

SLOBBER PUP'S POLE AXE - Potent Improv Group returns with second chapter in their saga of powerful music and noise, their lineup bolstered by the presence of Swedish sax master MATS GUSTAFSSON

Two years after debuting with critically acclaimed debut album Black Aces, Slobber Pup are back with their sophomore release, titled Pole Axe.The original core lineup of renowned American keyboardist and pianist Jamie Saft (JS Trio, New Zion Trio, John Zorn's Masada, Merzbow, The New Standard, The Spanish Donkey), American guitar and double bass free music legend Joe Morris and Hungarian hardcore drummer Balazs Pandi (Wadada Leo Smith, Jamie Saft, Merzbow) is here augmented by the presence of Swedish sax titan Mats Gustafsson. 

Jamie Saft's, Joe Morris' and Balazs Pandi's artistic relationship has been steadily developing on RareNoiseRecords since late 2012 : Saft and Pandi both played on Metallic Taste Of Blood; all three played on Slobber Pup's first release, and again with Wadada Leo Smith on Red Hill; Saft and Morris both played on Plymouth (with Mary Halvorson, Chris Lightcap and Gerald Cleaver) and The Spanish Donkey (with Mike Pride)

Recorded December 2013 in Jamie Saft's Potterville International Sound studio in the beautiful Catskills mountains, Pole Axe leverages the afore-mentioned chemistry and the tumultuous, monolithic yet psychedelic vigor of Mats Gustafsson's reeds, yielding three boundless free-form excursions .

This journey, which starts with the torrential "Pole Of Combustible Memory", continues with the equally extended "Bring Me My Desire And Arrows To Shoot" (a title inspired by William Blake) and concludes with Incendiary Axe, is a chiaroscuro stream of consciousness that might have been burned on 35mm analog reel. Visions relentlessly follow visions, temperature and texture changes flow into another without hardly rest. (PLEASE NOTE: The order of the tracks stated on the CD is incorrect.)

The endless depth of Saft's and Morris' interplay, multiple analog synths and organs engaged in a at times vertiginous dance with the guitar, is here deeply complemented by Gustafsson's saxophone multiform saxophone, sustained by Pandi's at times restrained, at times virulent drumming. Here again one can sense the manifestation of the notion of glacial time theorized by Morris - a state of deep listening between musicians, when time is felt and understood by all, but does not need to be overtly stated. Everyone is experiencing the pulse, yet everyone's focus is on the larger arc of the music.

1. Pole Of Combustible Memory (29:35)
2. Bring Me My Desire And Arrows To Shoot (17:50)
3. Incendiary Axe (4:35)

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