Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Loosers / Owl Xounds - S/T (Release the Bats 7")
Got this 7" over at Other Music last time I was in the city, and just now finally getting around to reviewing it. Seems to be the way things are going these days. Ah well, on with the show.
Been hearing a lot about Os Loosers lately, though this is my first direct contact with the Portuguese unit. And sure, it's not the new double LP on Qbico, or even the single LP on Troglosound, but the all-too-brief "At the Foot of the Sphinx" presented here is a rather tasty chunk of sound. A trio whose instrumentation consists of no more than your standard fare voice, bass, guitar and percussion set up, the group bobs their way along little forest paths on this one, the simple two-note bass line chugging along while the guitar line strays toward some Dead territory only far more, well, dead--nice and meandery stuff. The vocals are highly effected, serving up some warm background layers over which the minimal percussive jingle jangles can flounder about nice and steady like.
The Owl Xounds side, called "Translucent Neon Hexagram (Imagined)," features a more jazz-oriented angle, with La Otracina's Adam Kriney handling skins while Gene Janas's upright bass and Mario Rechtern's effected sax squalls do their thing. I had heard their earlier double 3" Stoned and Zoned, but this is a bit more erratic and less all-out blowing. Nice post-post fire music here, and a bit more together--even, dare I say, traditional--than that earlier material. Still a real chaotic treat though, with saxophone/bass duets quibbling about before Kriney's drums come in to drive the whole idea home. Could be some stripped down Center of the World thing, more high-energy than Graveyards but with the same kind of appreciation for the medium. Some real high level interaction here.
It's a strange split, with both groups presenting the same side of two very different coins. It's all improvised greatness though, and where people may tend toward one over the other, it's the dialogue between them which fuels the release's momentum while also fostering general appreciation of the improvised form. Limited to, you guessed it, 420 copies with a nice stripped down aesthetic and two cut outs giving personnel info. Cool stuff.