AMN Reviews: Karris Adams Duo – Nothing Stays Buried (la la la la) (2019; Personal Archives)

Chicago improvisers Reid Karris and Alexander Adams team up for this live-in-the-studio-with overdubs EP, released at the beginning of the month as a cassette and download by Personal Archives. Karris provides prepared guitar and skatchbox (a cardboard box with contact mics and a number of household items taped thereon that can be played by manipulating the items), while Adams mans the drum kit.

This is non-repeating music. There are no melodies, harmonies, rhythms or beats of note. Instead, Karris and Adams build dense structures with controlled timbres and colors. Adams sets forth an aleatoric, patternless base that resembles an all-out drum solo. Karris overlays these with textures that often sound little like traditional guitar. Blasts of distortion and short feedback drones combine with speed picking, loops, effects, and delay. Karris and Adams are at their best when they hold nothing back and bury the listener under massive walls of sound that are constructed and de-constructed on an ongoing basis.

Comparisons? If you are familiar with the previous works of these artists, Nothing Stays Buried (la la la la) will probably not sound like it is out of left field. Otherwise, some similarities to the Flying Luttenbachers might be observed. Regardless, this singular release is in its own twisted category and comes highly recommended.