AMN Reviews: Andrew Drury’s Content Provider and The Drum (2015; Soup and Sound Recordings)

AD_smile_caro_bioAndrew Drury Quartet – Content Provider (2015)
Andrew Drury – The Drum (2015)

Percussionist and composer Andrew Drury rarely takes the beaten path. His catalog of appearances, while extensive, is not prolific. Instead, he spends his time teaching and exploring music and other media. Thus, it is a special treat when he releases a new recording, much less two at the same time. These offerings, due out early next year, not only are complementary of one another, but showcase Drury’s compositional intuitiveness and non-linear chops.

Content Provider is a recording of Drury’s off-and-on group of the same name, featuring Briggan Krauss and Ingrid Laubrock on dueling saxes, along with Brandon Seabrook on guitar. Drury provides the drumming and compositions. Krauss and Laubrock deliver staccato lines and drones, with Seabrook mostly in a supporting role with the occasional speed-picking and arpeggiated chords. Still, Seabrook’s tinny and aggressive playing provokes a sense of urgency that drives the other three to free-form blowouts. Alongside them, Drury stays in character by never quite doing what you would expect from a drummer.  While arguably falling to the free-jazz vein, Content Provider is better categorized along with the partially-composed, partially-improvised brand of creative music that is emanating from New York. The group explores sound and texture, while creating and destroying harmonic structures.

The Drum is Drury alone with a floor tom, sheets of metal, bamboo skewers, and bells. He evokes sounds from these unconventional instruments by blowing on them, as well as through brushing, scraping, and striking. The result does not resemble a solo percussion release at all – instead it offers a post-industrial landscape with shifting walls of sound.  In fact, without knowing otherwise, it would be difficult to distinguish Drury’s physical manipulations from computer-mediated electronic music.  Nonetheless, perhaps because of its manual nature, The Drum sets itself apart from that genre.  Either as a testament to Drury’s technical prowess, as an example of what can be done with a limited palette, or as the soundtrack to a hypothetical horror movie, The Drum is a unique and challenging effort.

Drury is kicking off 2015 with a pair of outstanding releases.  If you are going to be in the New York area on February 17th, be sure to check out his release party at Roulette.

AMN Reviews: Yann Novak – Snowfall (Dragon’s Eye Recordings)

Imagine hanging suspended in bullet time, halfway between the clouds and the earth, deep inside a snowflake. Yann Novak’s Snowfall, first presented as a “durational audio-visual performance” over six hours (come and go as you please), is limited to exactly sixty minutes on disc but primed for “repeat”. Poised in its stillness, the sounds of a hundred seasons can be discerned. Not two snowflakes are alike, no two listens the same. Perfect for long, wintertime gazes out the window.

To continue floating through a similar climate, enjoy Novak’s recent collaboration with Fabio Perletta, Liminality.

Stephen Fruitman

Free Jazz Blog Reviews

From Free Jazz:

Olie Brice Quintet: Immune to Clockwork (Multikulti, 2014) ***½
Tomas Fujiwara Trio – Variable Bets (Relative Pitch, 2014) ****
Cagematch – Missing the End All (2014) ****
Michel Doneda – Everybody Digs Michel Doneda (Relative Pitch, 2014) ****
John Coltrane ‎- Offering & Paul Dunmall, Tony Bianco ‎- Tribute toColtrane
John Coltrane – Offering: Live at Temple University (Impulse, Resonance Records, 2014) ***½
Paul Dunmall, Tony Bianco – Tribute to Coltrane (Slam Productions, 2013) ****
Wacław Zimpel To Tu Orchestra – Nature Moves (For Tune, 2014) ****½
Avishai Cohen’s Triveni – Dark Nights (Anzic Records, 2014) ***½
Carlo Costa Quartet – Sediment (NeitherNorRecords, 2014) ****½

Hideous Porta 14 in London

From Hideous Porta:

Hideous Porta is a London based event series promoting new music, co-organised by Hideous Replica and Porta.

Hideous Porta 14 will take place at Apiary Studios, London E2. The last of these all day instalments will be an event on Saturday 17th January celebrating modes of action orientated music.

Date: Saturday 17th January
Venue: Apiary Studios
Tickets: £6 (advance) £8 (Door)
Doors: 4pm onwards


Lucio Capece

Mark Vernon

Luke Poot & Duncan Harrison

Ben Gwilliam

Daniel Kordik & Edward Lucas


End of the Alphabet Records New Releases

From End of the Alphabet Records (follow the link to listen):

End of the Alphabet Records are proud to announce their 5th and 6th releases since the label started in September this year: “Live at the Pyramid Club” by FANZ and “Microfeedback Lausanne” by Yan Jun.

FANZ are a four piece freak noise outfit from Wellington, New Zealand, featuring the legendary Antony Milton (here taking the drum seat), End of the Alphabet boss man, Noel Meek, South Korean performance artist, Samin Son and noisenik Fergus Nelson Moores. They have been described as being “something like a cross between The Skaters and The Futurians” (Pseudoarcana). Solidly in the New Zealand tradition of weirdo outsider noise makers, FANZ are four solo music freaks getting together to make a racket that one audience member described as “symphonic noise.”

“Live at the Pyramid Club” was recorded at the most recent in a 15 year tradition of music venues in Wellington dedicated to experimental music and consists of two sides of improvised free noise and drone propelled by caveman drums. It is a wild ride of an album that sucks its listeners into a whirlpool of feedback and screams . . .

Yan Jun’s release, “Microfeedback Lausanne”, End of the Alphabet’s first (and far from last) release from Asia, is a simply sublime work of feedback drone; electrics stripped back to nothing but their essential bliss. Recorded as part of a “series of headphone concerts as hypnotizing events” in Switzerland, “Feedback Lausanne” is a work of beautiful simplicity.

Yan Jun, known as the “Godfather of Chinese experimental music” (Tinymixtapes) has been working in experimental music since the early nineties as a writer, musician, sound artist and organiser. He is a key figure in the Chinese scene and massively influential both inside and, increasingly, outside of China. His writing features regularly in The Wire, he tours widely internationally and organises a plethora of gigs at home in Beijing.

Both albums are out on December 10th