Monday, June 8, 2009

Raw Kites - I Can See the Light, I Just Can't Feel It (Bug Incision Records CD-R)

Here's another disc from Chris Dadge's Bug Incision label, and this time around it's Chris in a duet with baritone saxophone/bass clarinetist Shane Krause. With Dadge on percussion, violin and amplified objects, the sound treads toward the starker side usually, never straying too far from what seems to be more or less the signature Bug Incision sound. Sort of a meeting between AACM and AMM I guess...

Broken into eight tracks, the disc actually reads like a series of demos in a lot of ways, showcasing one outtake from a given session before moving on to the next. Which isn't to say that there's not room for the two to expand here; many of the tracks are over five minutes long. Just that the duo play with such conviction that they are able to sustain a given locale long enough to fill those five minutes without losing their grasp.

Take the opening "Dearce," whose clattering percussion and restrained baritone play--sometimes honking, sometimes shimmying across Dadge's violin strums--fill the 7-minutes easily before the following "Dierce" (I suppose another spelling of the same pronunciation of the first track, a theme which runs throughout) gets a tad heavier, Krause's sax now billowing runs of notes behind pitter-pattering kitchen sink percussion. The sound is certainly mobile, but also refreshingly unpretentious or precious. Instead the play is filled with excitement, reading as fun alongside its clearly well conceived and realized ideas. Same goes for "Deirce," (there's that title thing again) which falls into an extremely hushed, albeit active, sonic realm. Nothing here stands out so much despite quite a lot of activity, Krause's horn squeaking above grating violin runs that all sound like they're being played from beneath some giant weighted blanket. Strange and super effective.

Following that up is "Pearse," "Pearce" and, you guessed it, "Peirce." The first keeps things fairly subdued, slipping into some odd metallic grunts before the second begins quietly before unwrapping itself a tad. Krause's bass clarinet play on the last track is warm though removed, a strange and effective space for the instrument to reside in atop the ruffled percussion of Dadge. "Traice" and "Traese" close the disc with some of the more cohesive material here, really displaying the duo's chops at something resembling straight free jazz, though certainly a bare and explorative example of that genre. Super great, alongside everything else I've heard from the label so far. Limited to 75 too, so grab it quick.

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