TOC — Haircut
(Circum-Disc CIDI1404, 2014, CD / LP)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-02-02
This trio, based in France, is named from taking the first letter of the surname of each of the participants: Fender Rhodes player Jeremie Ternoy, drummer Peter Orins, and guitarist Ivann Cruz. Add to those three basic ingredients a boatload of effects and treatments, put them in a completely free-form improvised setting, and what comes out is Haircut. This is the third release for the group, the first in 2008 being a wildlife documentary, another in 2012 is supposedly dance music. This writer has heard none of those, and so I’m approaching this with a completely open mind and no expectations, only to have it opened even further by the improvisational skills of these three intrepid experimenters. The album consists of only two side-long cuts, “Half Updo” and “Updo,” two halves of an extended vehicle for ideas that swirl, bristle, condense, and blast into your consciousness with high powered intensity, bearing little resemblance to any standard musical form, but instead creating something entirely their own, occasionally flirting with psychedelicism, but tending more toward a ongoing flow of tension and release, creating something of a chaotic trance while the players wind through the corners and labyrinths of their own sonic firestorms. Some very interesting sounds are produced, run through the paces, and slowly abandoned as new ideas come forth to replace them – it’s hard to imagine how some of these sounds were even created. It’s noisy for sure, and dark too, but it also soothes and captivates the listener for the entire duration. I’m sometimes reminded of parts of the extended pieces by Escapade, or the most grotesque and brutal stuff by Altered States or Richard Pinhas. There’s only one part in the second half where things ease up a bit and release, but it doesn’t last for very long. Overall, this is great stuff, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more