Warning - there is some obvious skullduggery here. If you can’t handle galaxy class skronking and lethal levels of live jazz, BANG! BROS. is not for you.
Fresh off the presses over at Hausu Mountain, suspiciously named jazz act BANG! BROS. presents Big BANG! Theory Parts 1 & 2 - a sprawling testament of mind-boggling, head-joggling, jazz mess that could only have been perpetrated by some of the most perverted minds in the industry.
Imagine a handful of scruffy individuals tweaking knobs and gyrating in some humid basement, the very air around them vibrating with piles of electronic jazz squiggles. Nothing can remain stationary in this jet of wet, hot energy. Don’t be fooled by the snowy cover art! That’s just so you can sneak this forbidden fruit past your mother’s prying eyes. Yes, your unsuspecting family would never guess that, housed inside of these tape cases, decorated with benign, peaceful wintry scenes, there lurks monstrous amounts of free-form, art house electrojazz - the kind that makes you want to quit your job and become a poet or a vegan. OR a vegan poet. This collection of beautiful nonsense delivers a one-two punch that lasts forever.
Hilariously un-google-able Boston-based band BANG! BROS.is comprised of electronic necromancers Arkm Foam and Mark Johnson, who enlist the horn blowing talents of sax addict Andy Allen.Together, they stir up a whirlwind of toasted-circuitry machine jazz that wouldn’t really be hard to describe, except that the spirit of the music bids me not to try any further. I just want to be free, man, I don’t even want to wear shoes anymore. I don’t want to think about stuff. I just want to ride this blissful cloud of unending chaos all the way into hell.
Let’s divide these two releases up and look at track highlights:
Big BANG! Theory Part 1:
I want you to know, I’m fairly certain the title of this two volume jam refers to the scientific theory of the Big Bang, and not that tired-ass sitcom that you gave up on five years ago that your middle-aged parents are still avidly watching.
No, the BANG! BROS. are all about big time events. Everything they are doing here is bigger than life. YUGE even. Over-the-top. The overcooked, overclocked, overworked jazz kerfuffle begins right at the opening track, Stellar Object, a frightening melange of tumbling percussion and mangled sample loops topped with white-hot wails from a saxophone under duress. Big Bounce is a quick little track that is like a Saturday morning cartoon exploding in a microwave. The closing track Traversable Wormhole is a series of disembodied shrieks over a relentlessly driving beat.
Big BANG! Theory Part 2:
Released a mere week after Part 1, Big BANG! Theory Part 2 picks up right where we were, in a oversexed hell dimension full of half-eaten robots. Multiple machines spit out streams of squirms in the opening track Big Rip, as the saxophone wanders in and out, trilling in reaction to the bizarre events that unfold before it. A truckload of ping pong balls is dropped into the scene, as broken mannequins wheel around, trying to make sense of it all.
Twelve minute banger, Naked Singularity, begins with a disintegrated loop of mini horns that gives way to some mysterious actions in the underbrush by local wildlife. Eventually, the loop returns, further degraded, and waves of crunching beats usher in a distressed horn, warbling in fear. The piece finally wears itself out in a frenzy of misplaced silverware and boxes of coconut halves.
This grand adventure of edgy, noisy, improvised magic ends with the track Big Crunch. As its title suggests, it is a companion piece to Big Rip, opening with a tension building section of increasingly chaotic rhythms. The BANG! BROS. take all the toys they’ve played with over the course of the recording session and throw it all at the listener. If any selection could be defined by the idea of a big bang, this is it.
This two part release is defined by its loosely swirling mass of junky, careening noise - as if all of the stuff that the universe needed to be made of is heated up in a giant Jiffy Pop on the stove, until it explodes all over the emptiness of the galaxy, chunks of rocky planets spewing across the blank canvas of existence, stars hotly whizzing past our ears like comets, burning holes in the draperies of the sky and coming to rest above us, colorful nebulae puffing out like smoke and steam after all the space junk has danced across the horizon. This wild journey of creation dissolves to silence, leaving a universe for us to wonder at and explore.