AMN Reviews: Oort Smog – Every Motherfucker Is Your Brother (2022; AKP Recordings)

This is the second Oort Smog recording featuring saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi and drummer Mark Kimbrell. Both are also members of math-prog band Upsilon Acrux. While there is a long tradition of sax / drum duos going back decades, Shiroishi and Kimbrell take something of a left turn on this release.

Approximately the first third of its single 30-minute track consists of slow-moving themes and plaintive droning accompanied by thunderous percussion. Kimbrell eventually falls back on a more steady beat as Shiroishi flirts with outside elements. He plays his sax through a guitar amp, adding subtle delay and echo. The middle passage involves a looping sax pattern with long-held drones before bursting out into a soaring and angular melody. This morphs into free-jazz breaks with Shiroishi drawing squeaks and wails from his sax over complex drum lines from Kimbrell. They turn up the intensity and brutality, finishing things off with energy and structures usually reserved for bands like Ruins while maintaining a strange catchiness.

Even though the album title is not clearly reflected in the music, it is a fitting and positive sentiment for a polarized time. Also, don’t sleep on the artwork – whether intentional or not, it is out of a re-appropriated Lovecraftian nightmare. The album comes out on November 11 from AKP Recordings.