AMN Reviews: Jamaica​!​! Meets Sly – Celebrating The End Together In The Good Time Swamp (2021; Bandcamp)

This is the live meeting of two improvising ensembles, Jamaica​!​! and Sly and the Family Drone. Both are of the “absolutely no planning” model, with eleven members in the former and four in the latter. The combined group is joined by guitarist Alan Courtis. Instrumentation is odd, with some of Jamaica​!​! playing modified or custom-made instruments. And, of course, Sly provides their usually noisy insanity. But one can clearly make out guitar, a few brass instruments, and at least two drummer / percussionists.

While ostensibly free improv, the drums set forth overlapping structures and patterns that persist for various periods of time, allowing the other instrumentalists to explore. Such explorations include staccato horns, processed noise walls, weird vocal meanderings, and a blowout or two. The result is a heady and chaotic mix across two 20-minute tracks. The second of these includes lengthy and odd spoken word passages amongst the heavy instrumental psychedelia.

Proceeds from Celebrating The End Together In The Good Time Swamp go to The Gate, an arts centre for adults with learning disabilities located in Shepherds Bush, London. So don’t hesitate to grab this sublime recording and simultaneously put your money to a great cause.