Alex's Hand — Goblinsz...?1!
(Bandcamp no#, 2016, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-06-06
With Goblinsz…?1! Seattle’s expatriate musical misfits (now resident in Berlin) present an improvisational collaboration with Hungarian guitarist Ádám Mészáros of Jü. Alex’s Hand has always had two sides to their music: tricky, unpredictable changes precisely worked out in spite of their seeming randomness, and actual improvisational randomness. Goblinsz…?1! lands wholly on the latter side, and Mészáros is entirely at home with Kellen Mills (bass) and Nic Barnes (drums). The improvisations range from under two minutes (like “Suck Me off, Squirrel!” and “Windy Monky Turntable”) to over 12 (“Baby Delivers DoKtor”) and run the gamut from chaotic tempo-free noise-fests to slow, atonal grooves to weird mathematical formations. Effects devices are a big part of what Mészáros contributes, with all sorts of unusual sounds. One thing you never hear is a simple riff with a steady beat repeated for solos. These three are listening to each other and letting their imaginations roam freely. They even get atmospheric at times, providing a break from the intensity of many of the tracks. Occasional bouts of shouting and what sounds like a melodica provide even more variety. In any case, it’s not for the faint of heart or listeners who prefer their music well behaved, but for those who like to hear creative players going for broke, spontaneous and uninhibited.
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