AMN Reviews: Reid Karris Group – Ghost Dancers Slay Together (2018; Lurker Bias)

Chicago-based Reid Karris is no stranger to the weird. Here, accompanied by Alexander Adams (Galaxuu) on drums and Bryant Eiting (Blue Movies) on sax and loops, Karris provides prepared guitar, drums, and effects. Landing somewhere between musique concrete, walled noise, and free improv, Ghost Dancers Slay Together is a 35-minute slab of the exquisitely unusual.

Karris and Adams offer an uncoordinated dual drum attack, a chaotic underpinning that sets the tone of the recording. On guitar, Karris supplies distorted chords, brief wails, and indeterminately picked notes. Comparisons to the work of Derek Bailey would not be too far off track.  Eiting’s sax harshly warbles out short motifs and fractured statements, intermittently rising up from primordial boilings. Throughout all of this, the effects and loops are used to establish twisted atmospherics.

Ghost Dancers Slay Together is a different animal – not even music in the conventional sense. Instead, it is a textured, multi-faceted all-out assault. This is a dense, melody-free, rhythmless exploration. But somehow, within the discord, Karris, Adams, and Eiting manage to also provide a certain degree of information-rich charm – an album that sounds like what would happen if you listened to half a dozen different recordings at the same time.

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