Friday, August 10, 2012

Fire with Oren Ambarchi - The the Mouth a Hand (Rune Grammofon, 2012)

Fire! is a collective improvising group from Sweden featuring Mats Gustafsson on saxophone and electronics, Johan Berthling on bass and Andreas Werliin on drums. On this album they welcome a special guest, Oren Ambarchi on guitar and electronics. Their sound is a wild mix of free jazz swirling drones and hypnotic groove. “A Man Who Might Have Been Screaming” opens the album with rough saxophone joined by bass and drums, building a head of steam, before setting off into buzzing, screaming overdrive. The music becomes an overpowering buzzsaw of sound, tempered by abstract smears. Droning hypnotic sections of music give way to a scorching saxophone blast the heralds the end of the piece. A grinding raw opening with strong drumming and hypnotic electronics usher in “And The Stories Will Flood Your Satisfaction (With Terror).” This is an epic 23 minute improvisation with Gustafsson simply wailing above a maelstrom of sound. As the performance develops, throbbing bass bubbles up like a monster from the deep, laying the foundation for impossibly intense hair-raising improvisation. The music becomes cathartic, ecstatic and simply overpowering. “He Wants To Sleep In A Dream (He Keeps In His Head)” has a accelerating pulse of bass and electronics developing an angular groove with shards of guitar sparking off. Gustafsson’s saxophone lays out as the guitar improvises over a hypnotic bass and drum drone, pulsating and locked in as scorching electroshock electronics are added into the mix. After the glorious chaos of the first three tracks, “I Am Sucking For A Bruise” tones things down, coming to the listener like a haunted epilogue of wind blowing across an icy and forlorn landscape. This was a fascinating album with an interesting combination of free-form jazz and progressive rock that makes for a heady mixture. It shows what happens when you tear down barriers between genres and allow people to interact in a free and open manner, allowing their creativity to flow unfettered and without boundaries. In the Mouth - A Hand -

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