Gentleman Surfer — BLALKS
((Not on label) no#, 2013, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-08-09This Sacramento band is a perfect example of something coming out of the blue to blow you away. I don't even remember how I came across their page on Bandcamp, but I am so glad I did. Drummer/keyboardist Jon Bafus is the main force in the band, which started as his solo project. He's joined on this set by Drew Walker on bass and Barry McDaniel on guitar; all three sing, though much of the music is instrumental. The music is energetic and complex, but very catchy in the melodies. Instrumental parts range from aggressive punkish guitar to circular repeating patterns on keyboards. It's not quite as schizophrenic as Cheer-Accident, but is definitely along the same lines. Occasional thoughts of Battles also crop up, but there's more variety in sound here. For contrast, there are sections where the tempo drops off and crazy feedback bounces around. And there's a certain jazzy feel to the drums sometimes, which works surprisingly well with the stop-start riffs and nutty rhythmic shifts. I have no idea what BLALKS means, but it's a hell of a lot of fun to listen to, and a great example of the positive side of online music. If we were still relying on LPs being sent around through the mail, I'd never have found them, and I'm glad I did.
Related artist(s): Gentleman Surfer
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more