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

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

John Martyn - Sweet Certain Surprise & Live at the Bottom Line – What is remarkable in this last set of two live rarities from guitarist and vocalist John Martyn is that the two performances continue to show an expanding range within different periods of the...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues