AMN Reviews: The League of Assholes – In Ogre Ate (2017; Titicacaman Records)

The U.S. presidential election, Brexit, and growing right-wing movements throughout Europe have led to a great deal of consternation, anxiety, and anger. Anger is nothing new for the right, but the degree to which it is now a component of the liberal reaction to these events has not been seen in generations. At times of social unrest, new forms of art and expression are often produced, as artists wrestle with the aforementioned emotions. The question that many of us have had since late last year is how the creative music world would respond to the changes of 2016 and the dark days that follow. Now we have an early answer.

According to the liner notes of this release, “[t]he League of Assholes does not exist, there is no league and the participants in this work are not assholes.” In Ogre Ate is a 29-minute single track EP featuring contributions from over 20 individuals. While several of the names are familiar the most well-known contributor is San Francisco sound artist Thomas DiMuzio. And if you are familiar with DiMuzio’s work, you’ll be ready for this album.

A sound collage, In Ogre Ate features multiple layers of instrumentation, effects, static, walls of noise, voices, and screaming. Invoking post-industrial hellscapes, the sounds combine to reflect a nervous foreboding. Both melancholy and rageful, the track progresses from more overtly aggressive and harsh structures to an unsettled ambiance, then climaxing with a boiling distemper. The final minute devolves into a brief, twisted guitar, trumpet, and shaker theme.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about In Ogre Ate is how well it works as both protest music as well as an enjoyable piece of dark noise art. Well done.


Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

Wadada Leo Smith

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

John Zorn/Simulacrum Six Trevor Dunn & Sara Serpa! Harriet Tubman [Brandon Ross/Melvin Gibbs/JT Lewis] Wadada Leo Smith! Paquito D’Rivera & the Vitral Sax Quartet! Gary Smulyan! Vitor Goncalves! Glenn Zaleski Trio! Victor Provost! Karl Nyberg & Bone Machine!

Harvey Mandel! Davy Mooney/John Ellis/Jon Cowherd/Matt Clohesy/Brian Blade! Seven New Discs from the Neos Label! Krokofant! Skullflower! A Dozen Reissued Gems from Be! Jazz: Albert Mangelsdorff! Irene Schweizer! Brotzmann/Van Hove/Bennink! Tomasz Stanko! Krzysztof Komeda! Dave Pike Set! Eje Thelin and Even More!

Plus Archival Discs from Ry Cooder! Little Feat! Eddie Hinton! Nurse with Wound! The Last of the Masada Studio CDs! And Lots More!


The FREE DMG Weekly New Music In-Store Series Continues on Sundays with:

Sunday, February 26th:

Sunday, March 5th:

Sunday, March 12th: CD Release Set!
6pm: ROB PRICE / BEN GALLINA / ANDY O’NEILL – Guitar/Bass/Drums!

Sunday, March 19th:
7pm: GERRIT HATCHER – Tenor Sax

Sunday, March 26th:
6pm: NLH – Solo Guitar!
7pm: SEAN ALI – Solo Contrabass!

AMN Reviews: Jessica Ackerley Trio – Coalesce (2017; Bandcamp)

Let’s get the obvious comparison out of the way – here is a young, female guitarist based out of New York with an idiosyncratic style who combines compositional and outside jazz. The parallels to Mary Halvorson are apparent, if not completely plain to see and hear. Ackerley, however, who originally hails from Canada, provides her own take on the guitar trio in this, her debut release as leader.

Teaming with Mat Muntz on bass and Nick Fraser on drums, Ackerley leads the group through seven tracks ranging in length from 3 to 10 minutes. Ackerley focuses on electric guitar with (for the most part) little distortion. Her lines feature aggressive strumming and chording along with cleanly-picked themes, not to mention the occasional speed-picked blowout. Muntz often runs counterpoint to Ackerley, while Fraser is a very busy percussionist.  Both provide ample contributions of an unexpected nature even on the downtempo pieces.

The result is a trio that has more ideas than most groups of twice the size. For instance, on the 7-minute Discoid, there is so much to absorb that a single listen, or even two or three, is not sufficient.  Notable about Coalesce is the compositions’ emphasis on space and their deliberate pacing.  But even when creating ambiance, Ackerley’s unusual phrasing prevents the music from fading into the background.  Between the spacious passages, the trio breaks out into a free-form blast of energy from time to time, with Ackerley turning up the distortion. Snakes in the Grass is an example of this approach, and is also a stand-out amongst a strong set of tracks.

Coalesce is a thoughtful and introspective debut. Not only does Ackerley lead the trio through an offering of creative jazz of unusually high quality, the group also exhibits an impressive amount of restraint while doing so. Instead of turning it up to 11 for forty minutes, they keep it at a slow burn across much of the album.

Let’s hope for more releases from Ackerley and company.  Highly recommended.

Dalston Sound Reviews

English: description: Lasse Marhaug photograph...

Source: Dalston Sound.

Kim Myhr and Lasse Marhaug – On the Silver Globe
Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo plus KAZE – Peace
Birchall Cheetham Webster Willberg – Plastic Knuckle + The Small Departs, The Great Approaches
Raphael Malfliet – Noumenon
George Lewis & Splitter Orchester – Creative Construction Set™
Konstrukt – Molto Bene

Chicago Scene: February 25 – March 2, 2017

Kent Kessler

This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area. Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Saturday, February 25th 2017

4:00PM at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave, Evanston IL, 847.448.8620 (Free)
Birdhouse Jazz Series
Jason Stein Trio with Kent Kessler, Hamid Drake

7:30PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago, 312.280.2660 ($30) (wheelchair-accessible)
Music for Merce
Curated by John King, featuring David Behrman, Joan La Barbara, Fast Forward, George Lewis, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Quinta, Phil Selway, Christian Wolff

Sunday, February 26th 2017

3:00PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago, 312.280.2660 ($30) (wheelchair-accessible)
Music for Merce
Curated by John King, featuring David Behrman, Joan La Barbara, Fast Forward, George Lewis, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Quinta, Phil Selway, Christian Wolff

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15) (21): “Time With People” by Tim Parkinson

9:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont ($10 donation) (wheelchair-accessible)
Taylor Ho Bynum, Dana Jessen, Joshua Abrams, Mike Reed

Monday, February 27th 2017

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

Wednesday, March 1st 2017
7:30PM-10:00PM at In House, 3520 W Armitage
Autotelic Series
Ryan Packard

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
The Necks : Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton

Thursday, March 2nd 2017

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
The Necks : Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Piotr Michalowski, Fred Lonberg-Holm
Mars Williams, Tollef Østvang
Aaron Zarzutzki, Charlie Kirchen, Matt Carroll

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:,,,,,,,,,,,