Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ghost Moth - Sealand Fortress (House of Alchemy CD-R)

Here's another one from House of Alchemy's Adam Richards, whose Chapels project has been getting much attention from this here camp lately. Adam sent me this a bit ago and I've been meaning to get around to it so, of course, now's the time. Actually though, my interest in this project goes back way further when i first got into Graveyards and the prospect of any unit with sax and electronics was suddenly mind-blowingly exciting. While Ghost Moth is no Graveyards, they do have their own sound as well as the added benefit of amply talented saxophonist Daniel Carter on their side.

Other than Carter, whose a real free jazz force in groups like Test (killer unit if you don't know it... seek out their Live recording on Eremite--not to be missed), the trio also features the prepared guitar and synth of Todd Brooks and the synth and tape work of Robbie McDonald. With this kind of backing, Carter's not so much working against accompaniment so much as throwing himself into a maelstrom of tattered industrial wreckage, only to see what comes out the other side.

The album consists of only one twenty-five minuteish track documenting one show that seems to be a benefit of sorts for the aptly named Sealand, a sovereign nation off the coast of Great Britain. Remarkably the recording doesn't sound half bad considering it was recorded to a cell phone. Somehow though, Carter's sax sounds rich and clear in the mix of muddied blurts and blasts which careen along through most of the piece. About halfway through, things take a turn towards the slow side, but never get close to being as airy and empty as a unit like Graveyards, if only because Carter's playing is so nimble and, not surprisingly, energetic. This gives the event a real momentum, driving the sound forward with the vibe of a free blowing session. It's a swell sound, and one fairly far removed from a lot of material that approaches this style without the aid of a true jazz pro. Carter's sax bellows and squeals throughout, which fits quite snugly next to the glitching electronic clatter. A nice one, and a beautiful package to boot. Still available from H.O.A. HQ as well.

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