On September 26, 2018, melodious mayhem erupted at a small music venue in Rome, Italy. On that infamous date, four tectonic titans of experimental free-jazz created a seismic shift of noise and atonality.
Kenny Millions & Kresten Osgood - “Copenhagen Bluez”
The wooly and wild duo of Kenny Millions and Kresten Osgood crank out a mean free jazz thrash of a dirty blues, psyched-out rock, and untethered off-kilter yelling.
A jumbled and careening drum kit falls down a flight of stairs as a fuzzy electric guitar is fed into a wood chipper. Kenny Millions flings greasy clumps of partially chewed up lyrics at the microphone just before a halloween organ bursts onto the scene, belching rubber spiders.
A frightened saxaphone cries into the ambivalent night, searching for one of it's brass parents. Nothing but angular shadows cover the uneven ground. A drunken miscreant sleeping it off overnight screams unintelligible nightmares from his cell.
Kenny Millions is on a rampage. Not even the gentle gospel of the jazz organ can cool him for long. At last he stands bare naked in the creul spotlight, howling every conjugation of expletive his frantic mind can muster.
That's Copenhagen Bluez
Brace - "Live at Skronk"
Horn-swoggler Ollie Moore and kit crusher Aidan Searle team up as jazz-flinging, note-hurling mod gouls, Brace. Live at Skronk sounds like it was recorded in some dimly lit hole-in-the-wall free jazz establishment, in the basement of an abandoned bar at the epicenter of the 'jazz only' part of London.
Brace produces the kind of mind trip one goes on once they've been drugged by the bad guys in a cheap gangster movie. Long passages of angular, collapsing jazz cascade at the listener - a calamity brought on by furious, cave-dwelling percussion and more hornwork than this reviewer can keep up with. How many people are on this record? Supposed to be two - sounds like a whole outfit. One can hear saxophones, clarinets, even melodica weaving in and out of this jazzy overgrowth.
There are points at which the music departs from the natural world and swims through the dark and murky ethers of the spirit plane. The horns echo eerily as they undergo some sort of dimensional shift, the drums multiplying themselves into a cacophony of mangled rhythms. These stretches of metaphysical entanglement elevate the vibrational fever of the recording to uncharted levels.
While avoiding abject abstraction, Brace is certainly able to let some mess hit the fan, while braiding together a sonic whirlwind like a tumbleweed of audio artistry. If you walk the be-bop path of free jazz - put Live at Skronk on your radar.
Michel Kristof and Vinnie Paternostro - “A Place You Could Not See. A Time You Did Not Know”
In today’s world of empty consumerism and material excess, it’s easy to feel rudderless without any real sense of purpose or meaning.
It’s easy to feel like a A Door Without A Handle, A Clock Without A Face, A Car Without A Steering Wheel.
The above track titles from the Muteant release of Michel Kristof and Vinnie Paternostro are pithy metaphors for the hollowness and absurdity of the times we find ourselves in.
It’s not just the song names though; A Place You Could Not See. A Time You Did Not Know. is a perfect sonic encapsulation of the baffling absurdity of our modern predicament.
An analog synthesizer in lockstep with a drum machine creates a thick and impenetrable phalanx of industrial brute force as harsh and unrelenting as the jackbooted thud of dystopian police.
A guitar, which cannot stand against such an unfeeling and inorganic onslaught, is stomped on and beaten beyond any recognition into an effects-ravaged mess of atonal squawks and screeches.
All the while, a saxophone at the front and center of the mix wails soulfully for any trace of meaning and truth before itself succumbing to digital oblivion; trampled underfoot by the inexorable march of “progress.”
Michel Kristof and Vinnie Paternostro are genuine articles of the Muteant brand with a truly weird and experimental sound.
Click the link below and wallow in the nihilistic absurdism.