Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bent Spoon Duo - Fossils of Summer (Holy Cheever Church Records CS)

Bug Incision label head Chris Dadge and fellow improv pursuant Scott Munro have a go on Holy Cheever with this tape,which the Calgary duo recorded in Toronto. Combining percussion and strings, the two approach improvisation from an anti-classicist stance, instead opting for a scrape and drape sound that finds the two moving between instruments and mood in rapid fire succession.

The tape opens with a steady percussive thump and a lot of string snaps and cracks before some electronic glitches make their presence known, joining in on the addled conversation. There's a real earthy feel present here, with almost a kitchen band vibe (I suppose that's the Bent Spoon way...), though the two are clearly engaging in some real interaction here. Odd blurts and taps writhe about somewhere between order and chaos, with a highly emotive and visceral feel. Very much a duo in terms of taut, in-the-moment reaction, the rattles sometimes diminish to little more than whispered chimes and untethered reverberative appreciations. Really physical stuff.

Actually, got an e-mail from Dadge a few minutes ago saying that he really didn't remember the set sounding this way, which makes the tape feel even more difficult to grasp... a lot of the stuff here seems to be someone trying to escape from a body-sized closet (coffin?) packed with wolves, chairs, and small hanging knives clattering against one another as you frenetically try to escape. Only really, the sound is not all that violent and much more angled towards some odd free jazz weirdness. Small horns and mouth flutes drift around, at times culminating in what sounds like a less psychedelic and far more deranged Drumdance to the Motherland, that crazy Khan Jamal album. Like if Roscoe Mitchell's Sound were stripped of all melodic content and replaced by the sounds of contact mics documenting the dudes behind the mixing board rolling up their spliffs. Another rad one from Holy Cheever and a fine sign of what's to come with the incoming batch of Bug Incision releases.

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