Slobber Pup — Pole Axe
(RareNoise RNR056, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-12-11
Not so long ago, we encountered Jamie Saft (keyboards) and Joe Morris (guitar) in The Spanish Donkey; for Slobber Pup they are joined by Balázs Pándi (drums) and Mats Gustafsson (saxophones), whom we heard together with Merzbow in the Cuts project. So the resulting Free Noise orgy is no surprise: three tracks of improvised interactions unhindered by any boundaries of style, genre, or convention. The lack of a bass player (that role was handled by Trevor Dunn on the first Slobber Pup release) contributes to a floating feeling to the music and leaves Saft free to do all sorts of unspeakable things to his analog keyboards in the lower register. (“Unspeakable” here being a synonym of “indescribable” because I can’t speak to what he’s doing.) This kind of unfettered improvisation runs the risk of alienating listeners, but that’s okay. You don’t have to make music to try to please everyone – it’s a futile task, so you might as well not try. In the case of Slobber Pup, they just hit Record and have at it, and to my ears at least, the result is commendable. I’m not going to listen to it every day, but it didn’t have me impatient to be done with it over the numerous times I’ve listened to it. Don’t be looking for melodies, harmonies, or even a consistent tempo, just spontaneous interplay between four really creative players. They listen to each other, react to whatever comes up, and there are lots of great moments ranging from quiet to screeching. Give it a shot if you’re in an adventurous mood, and now I’m going to go foxtrot a skyscraper.
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more