Saxophonist Mats Gustafsson progressed beyond the free jazz label some time ago, especially considering his recent releases with Merzbow, Thurston Moore, and Balazs Pandi, Slobber Pup, and others. Here, he and his collaborators (David Sandström and Andreas Werliin) create an 18-minute wall of sound and drones that is one of his most “free” recordings.
A driving drum pattern provides the backing for slow-moving, distorted waves of horn. Both Sandström and Werliin are drummers, giving the piece a densely rhythmic feel not unlike Coltrane‘s works with dual percussionists. Gustafsson layers several tracks of his blowing into a mashup. While it is difficult to separate each sax line, some provide the drone walls, while others more buried in the mix squeak out an angular lead. The result is ominous, dark, but too aggressive to be haunting.
As This is From the Mouth progresses, it builds in intensity until about one minute prior to the end, at which point, the ocean of noise ebbs a bit, and we obtain a respite from this sonic attack.
AMN Reviews: Merzbow / Mats Gustafsson / Balazs Pandi – Cuts (2013, Rare Noise Records)
AMN Reviews: Merzbow / Mats Gustafsson / Balazs Pandi / Thurston Moore – Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper (2015; Rare Noise Records)
AMN Reviews: Slobber Pup – Pole Axe (2015; RareNoiseRecords)