AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: The Dead C – Rare Ravers (2019; Ba Da Bing Records)

Aotearoa’s greying heartthrobs, the Dead C, blast us off into the end times (aka 2019) with their latest long-playing petroleum slab, Rare Ravers, courtesy of Ba Da Bing.

The A-side grooves lead in to “Staver,” a 20-minute plunge into the depths of Dante’s rings o’ hell. Fear not, feeble mortal, Michael Morley, Robbie Yeats, and [Dr.] Bruce Russell ditch the edifying Italian humdrum and instead crank out the sonic panacea one so badly craves in this blustery modern epoch. The trio incant a spellbinding and dizzying mélange, that is sure to send you swiftly whirring into phaser-laden no-blues bliss. Just as the track starts to lull around the 18-minute mark,  there is a deee-licious metallic scrape, sure to send you into fits. This listener is unsure if it is our Kiwi protagonists dragging an iron-framed bookshelf across the shop floor or if one is hearing a bit of cymbal manipulation courtesy of Robbie Yeats. If it is the latter, this is one of the few (if only) instances of Yeats employing this particular extended technique with the Dead C – a refreshing piece of sonic craftsmanship, that it is indeed one of the highlights of the A-side. In truly antagonistic fashion, “Staver” does not ride off into the sunset, leaving you and your pop sensibilities with a snug and hearty sense of resolution, instead it abruptly ends, leaving you in the company of your stylus’ incessant picking at the run out groove.

The B-side opens with “Waver,” a two-minute piece that falls somewhere between kosmische and something that might appear on a meandering private-press country release. This brief penultimate tune – which wouldn’t be out of place on any of the Dead C’s more recent output –ends before its starts, fading surreptitiously into the album’s final track (admittedly, this listener listened to the B-side three times and it wasn’t until hearing the digital version of the release, with its clearly demarcated tracks, that it became apparent there were distinct cuts on the B-side of the record).

The album wraps up with “Laver” (an obvious theme here), another extended free noise canter which starts in trademark Dead C fashion: the playing is vacant, hypnotizing, and slyly non-committal. At approximately a quarter of the way through the piece, the trio’s sun-bleached sauntering takes a wild shift and is vaporized by an atomic blast of heavily-saturated distortion that crumbles out of the speakers. From the wreckage, the group rebuild in a similar mold, yet the playing possesses an equal degree of both trepidation and tenacity. Despite employing ye olde blunt cut to the end of the A-side, the group’s decision to again employ this technique at the terminus of Rare Ravers’  B-side remains jarring and unexpected.

This isn’t so much the soundtrack to the end times as it is the very blueprint. Fans of the Dead C, Siltbreeze devotees, doomsday prophets, and owners of the Faust back catalog are sure to find Rare Ravers a treat. Everyone else… well, you can wait for the twin suns to scorch your shadow into the pavement.

– J. Sebastien Ericsson Saheb


Upcoming Gordon Beeferman Shows

From Gordon Beeferman:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 8pm
The Gershwin Hotel
7 East 27th Street (between Fifth and Madison Aves.)

A rare appearance of the longstanding duo of Jeff Arnal (percussion) and Gordon Beeferman (piano). The duo melds avant-garde jazz/improv and contemporary classical traditions into a unique “energized ritual of free expression…music with muscle and appeal” (Cadence Magazine). Since beginning their collaboration in 2000, Arnal and Beeferman have performed extensively on the New York creative music scene as well as across the US and Canada, and released two acclaimed albums, BODIES OF WATER and ROGUE STATES. In addition to working as a duet, they have collaborated with many other musicians and dancers, including choreographer Estelle Woodward and saxophonist Seth Misterka (as Rara Avis). Fore more info:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 8pm
MICHAEL EVANS, drums and percussion
GORDON BEEFERMAN, electric piano and synth
Two Boots Tavern
384 Grand Street, Lower East Side (at Norfolk St)
F to Delancey, JMZ to Essex, D to Grand
$5, free pizza included!

BED OF DADDLE, the improvising duo of Gordon Beeferman and Michael Evans is a futuristic and virtuosic wild ride incorporating free jazz, avant-garde and contemporary-classical music, electronics, theatrics, and junk percussion.

Beeferman combines classical technique, improvising chops and sound design to create a compelling sound-world of fractured rhythms, post-tonal harmonic progressions, and elemental melodic structures. Evans approaches his drumset with extended techniques and investigates the fluidity of rhythm and pulse with floating structures inspired by many musical and sound traditions including the blues, free jazz, world music, noise and time travel.

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Performances Reviews

Evan Parker at the Stone, High-Energy Improvising With a Shifting Cast

Evan Parker’s recent run at the Stone is reviewed.

The saxophonist Evan Parker projects an intensely concentrated energy through his music. Now 65, he has spent more than 40 years in the trenches of the British avant-garde, metabolizing the ideas of free jazz and perfecting his own strategies of sound, which skew atonal but often lyrical. He’s hailed as a virtuoso of extended techniques — circular breathing, multiphonics, sculptured overtones — and lionized for his solo excursions. He’s also a tireless collaborator, secure in his footing and perpetually primed for engagement.

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