This review was originally published in Expose Magazine, October 1994. It has been updated and edited.
I’ll have to admit to seeing this trio live before listening to the release. And while this recording does not quite capture the intensity and power of the show, it doesn’t fall particularly short either. Torn, Karn and Bozzio, three experienced studio/road musicians, have approached their new instrumental project with a vitality that is missing from many ‘supergroups.’
Polytown‘s essence is in its name: polyphony. Torn’s atmospheric, delay-processed guitars, both harsh and soothing, Karn’s wandering, low-end growls and soft underpinnings (strangely reminiscent of Magma’s Yannick Top), and Bozzio’s melodically eclectic, non-western styled percussion combine to emphasize the band as a unit rather than any single member. While Bozzio’s drum performance is busy and continuously surprising, his virtuoso efforts do not interfere with the more subtle approaches of Torn and Karn. Fans of Torn’s Best Laid Plans and Cloud About Mercury will find Polytown fitting comfortably next to those two on the shelf.
Falling in the nether regions between rock, jazz, ethnic fusion and space music, Polytown is a forward-looking release that not only promises; it delivers. They stretch their abilities as well as musical genres with an ever-changing, complex amalgam. Highly recommended.
Source: Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound Jazz.
Thursday, December 14, 6:30-7:30pm at Found Kitchen & Social House (1631 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201)
Thursday, December 21, 6:30-7:30pm at Found Kitchen & Social House (1631 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201)
Thursday, December 28, 6:30-7:30pm at Found Kitchen & Social House (1631 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201)
Sunday Jan 7, 2018, 7-10pm at the Heartland Cafe Bar: Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound featuring Jimmy Bennington, drums- Fred Jackson (AACM), saxophone- Artie Black, saxophone- Dustin Laurenzi, saxophone- Mike Harmon, bass.
Sunday Feb 4, 2018, 7-10pm at the Heartland Cafe Bar: Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound featuring Jimmy Bennington, drums- Fred Jackson (AACM), saxophone- Artie Black, saxophone- Dustin Laurenzi, saxophone- Mike Harmon, bass.
Source: New York’s ISSUE Project Room.
ISSUE is pleased to announce select programs from the upcoming winter season, opening with a screening of Brooklyn-born film pioneer Ken Jacobs’ 3D film A Primer in Sky Socialism (1/13). The film is presented alongside the premiere of a score by Aki Onda, presented live with Alan Licht. Baltimore-based pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn also performs.
Additional programs include Artist-In-Residence Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste & LaMont Hamilton sequentially performing a 24 hour interpretive cycle of their parts of Julius Eastman opening The Kitchen’s That Which is Fundamental festival (1/19 to 1/20) .
Early in the season, ISSUE presents Sarah Davachi and Gabi Losoncy, two artists charting critical new contexts for composition & sound art (1/26), as well as an evening of site-responsive performances from Olivia Block, Drew McDowall and Lea Bertucci (2/10).
Syncretics Series, curated by Chris McIntyre, includes multiple performances: the first with Craig Taborn & Kris Davis, two of the most revered pianists in the experimental improvisation scene (2/15), the second with Eric Wubbels and Adam Tendler, performing a program of new compositions + works from David Lang, Elodie Lauten, Frances Rose White, and Tom Johnson (2/17).
Of special note, ISSUE presents a rare appearance from Argentine acousmatic composer Beatriz Ferreyra alongside Obfuscation Morphologies, a new work by Eric Frye, both working in eight-channel sound (2/24). In early March, computer music pioneer Carl Stone performs overlapping improvisations with Ned Rothenberg and Tokyo-based cross-media artist Ami Yamasaki (3/2).
2018 Artist-In-Residence Brandon Lopez premieres Fairer Than Tongue, a new work dedicated to Pedro Albizu Campos (leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Movement) (2/3). Stay tuned for further announcements from 2018 Artists-In-Residences Will Rawls, Julia Santoli, and James K.
Queer Trash (2018 Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow) presents Brutal Measures (Lydia Lunch + Weasel Walter), Keijaun Thomas, and Straight Panic (3/10) — an evening of unhinged sound, linguistic onslaught, and remorseless rupture of the structures of power and subjugation in which everyone is implicated.
Source: Edgetone Records.
Rob Pumpelly, Rent Romus, Eli Wallace – The Expedition
This project culminated from a series of live performances throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The Expedition is a set of spontaneous intuitive explorations recorded in Oakland California in 2016 featuring saxophonist Rent Romus with drummer / percussionist Rob Pumpelly and pianist Eli Wallace both of whom perform as the duo Dialectical Imagination.
Rob Pumpelly – drums/percussion
Rent Romus – alto, soprano, c-melody saxophones
Eli Wallace – piano
Romus’ Lords of Outland – In the darkness we speak a sound brightness and life
Saxophonist, composer Rent Romus started the Lords of Outland in 1994 a collective of like-minded musicians exploring improvisation, melody, noise, and sound art. The group develops original music ranging from unhinged free improvisation to thematic composition suites inspired by abstract and socio-political poetry, science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Throughout the the group’s rich history it’s core roster has changed numerous times as well as featuring pioneers in the music including Vinny Golia, John Tchicai, Hasan Abdur-Razzaq, LA Jenkins, and Josh Allen.
Rent Romus – alto, soprano, c-melody saxophones, flute, overtone flutes
Collette McCaslin – trumpet, soprano saxphone, no-input analogue pedals
Philip Everett – drums, analogue synth, Xlarinet and lapharp
Ray Schaeffer- electric six-string bass, effects