Exposé Online banner

Premature Burial — The Conjuring
(New Atlantis Records , 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-12-19

The Conjuring Cover art

Reading our recent interview with Morgan Fisher, I was struck by his remarks about improvisation:

“Improv” aka “Free Jazz” as a genre I find tends to avoid: 1. Melody, 2. Harmony, 3. Rhythm. So it is not really free at all, and can hardly be called music. It is more like catharsis. All very well in its place...

Premature Burial certainly fits that description. The trio consists of Matt Nelson (sax, effects), Dan Peck (tuba, effects), and Peter Evans (piccolo trumpet); I first encountered Nelson with his solo release Lower Bottoms. In my review of that album, I said I’d like to hear his wild sax work in a group setting, and with The Conjuring my wish has come true. I’m reminded of the saying “Be careful what you wish for”... It starts out rather quietly, with Nelson playing wandering phrases on the soprano while one of the brass instruments makes sputtery noises, and gradually some electronic sounds creep in, then we hear some phrases on the tuba while the sax squawks and makes other noises. In some ways, brass instruments are a bit more limited in the array of possible sounds they can produce compared to a saxophone, and in my experience with experimental players, many of those sounds could be broadly described as “fart noises”: lips vibrating in the mouthpiece at a frequency too low to make a conventional note. There’s a lot of that on The Conjuring. There’s also a lot of eerie breathing through the instruments and clicking of keys. Run all that through an array of pedals to modify the signal and you’ve got lots of possibilities. Improvisation this far out on the avant scale can be a real treat to watch happening live. Listening to a recording, however, is a different matter entirely. Something that by its very nature exists only in fleeting moments has been frozen in bits, minus any connection an audience could have with the physical presence of the musicians. As such, it’s rather like paintings made by elephants or cats – kind of interesting, but not something you can relate to emotionally.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Matt Nelson, Premature Burial

More info
http://newatlantisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-conjuring

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Progressive & Melodic Rock Vol. 1 - 3 – Can you say Neo? Do you enjoy the music of bands like Marillion, Rush, Saga and Tears for Fears? Do Univers Zero, Area, Etron Fou and Il Balletto di Bronzo give you nightmares? If the answer to the...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues