Shatner's Bassoon — Disco Erosion
(Bandcamp no#, 2018, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-07-17
You can sometimes tell everything you need to know from a band’s name. Any group that would call itself Shatner’s Bassoon is obviously a grimly serious death metal act obsessed with dark occultism and spicy foods. Or not. This quintet is based in Leeds, and while their sound is their own, they do fit in with a cohort of other bands operating in the same general stylistic area: WorldService Project, Free Nelson Mandoomjazz, Raoul Björkenheim’s Ecstasy, and a few more, who bring jazz and rock together in a way that is not like fusion. They’re not afraid to get noisy, they incorporate electronics and effects into their sounds, and they are much more improvisational than tightly composed. In the case of Shatner’s Bassoon, the lineup features bass (Mick Bardon), drums (Joost Hendrickx), keyboards (Johnny Richards), guitar (Craig Scott), and sax (Oliver Dover), and all of them are exceptional players. While there are many sections of free improvisation (with and without a tempo), there are also some sections of off-kilter group arrangement and irregular rhythm that should appeal to fans of avant-garde music of various stripes. They are also prone to going off in unexpected directions in their arrangements. Unpredictable is the watchword. Richards most often gravitates to electric piano sounds, usually distorted, though you’ll get the occasional organ or other flavor. Scott is often very wild on the guitar, and not in a precise, shredding sort of way. Dover jumps back and forth between melodic soaring and crazy screeches, keeping the music’s edge sharp. Bardon will sometimes groove on the low end, but will also venture into fuzz and other effects. Hendrickx somehow holds all of the madness together, hitting bizarre cues and changing style drastically from section to section. The four tracks on Disco Erosion comprise 40 minutes of unfettered creative insanity that I’m going to be revisiting often.
Related artist(s): Shatner's Bassoon
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
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more