July 13, 2013

Playlist Week of 2013-07-13

Slobber Pup - Black Aces

* Schoenberg: Piano Music (Pollini) (DG CD)
* Schoenberg: String Quartets (Arditti/Upshaw) (Naïve/Montagne 2CD)
* Miles Davis: Dark Magus: Live At Carnegie Hall (Columbia/Legacy 2CD)
* Sun Ra: New Steps (Horo 2LP>CDR)
* Sun Ra: Other Voices, Other Blues (Horo 2LP>CDR)
* Sun Ra: The Mystery of Being (d.1) (Horo/Klimt 3LP)
* Joe Henderson: Our Thing (Blue Note CD)
* Anthony Braxton: Alumni Orchestra (Wesleyan) 2005 (New Braxton House FLAC>2CDR)
* Anthony Braxton: Quintet (Tristano) 1997 (selections) (New Braxton House FLAC>2CDR)
* Ingrid Laubrock Sleepthief: Sleepthief (Intakt CD)
* The Spanish Donkey (Joe Morris/Jamie Saft/Mike Pride): XYX (Northern Spy CD)(†)
* Slobber Pup (Joe Morris/Jamie Saft/ Balász Pándi): Black Aces (Rare Noise 2LP/24-bit FLAC)
* Bob Marley: The Complete Wailers 1967-1972 Part 1 (JAD/KOCH 3CD)
* Bob Marley: The Complete Wailers 1967-1972 Part 2 (d.1-2) (JAD/KOCH 3CD)
* Bill Laswell: Divination: Ambient Dub Vol.1 (Subharmonic CD)
* Bill Laswell: Divination: Ambient Dub Vol.2: Dead Slow (Subharmonic CD)
* De La Soul: 3 Feet High And Rising (Tommy Boy/Rhino 2LP)
* Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia 2LP)
* Miguel: Kaleidoscope World (RCA CD)
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol.25: May 1978 (selections) (GDP 3HDCD)
* Grateful Dead: Road Trips Vol.1 No.4: From Egypt With Love (sel.) (GDP/Rhino 2+1HDCD)
* Dust: Dust/Hard Attack (Kama Sutra/Legacy 2LP)
* Robert Pollard: Honey Locust Honky Tonk (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Flaming Lips: The Terror (Warner Bros. CD)
* Deerhoof: Friend Opportunity (Kill Rock Stars/ATP CD)†/‡
* Deerhoof: Breakup Songs (Polyvinyl CD)†/‡
* Queens Of The Stone Age: …Like Clockwork (Matador 2-45RPM LP)
* Steven Wilson: The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) (KScope 2LP)
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/Sony CD/DVD)
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)
* Opeth: Heritage (Roadrunner 2LP)
* Tool: Ænima (Zoo Entertainment CD)†
* Tool: Lateralus (Zoo/Volcano Entertainment HDCD)
* Kylesa: Spiral Shadow (Season Of Mist LP)
* Kylesa: From The Vaults Vol.1 (Season Of Mist (2-45RPM LP)
* Kylesa: Ultraviolet (Season Of Mist 2-45RPM LP)
* Torche: Meanderthal (Hydra Head LP)
* Torche: Harmonicraft (Volcom LP)†/‡
* Evoken: Atra Mors (Profound Lore MP3)†
* Xibalba: Hasta La Muerte (Southern Lord MP3)†
* Pelican: Ephemeral (Southern Lord EP)
* Pelican: What We All Come To Need (Southern Lord 2LP)
* Pelican: Ataraxia/Taraxis (Southern Lord EP)
* Intronaut: Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones) (Century Media 2LP)
* The Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado LP)
* ASG: Blood Drive (Relapse 2-45RPM LP)
* Locrian: Return To Annihilation (Relapse 2-45RPM LP)
* Deafheaven: Sunbather (Deathwish, Inc. 2-45RPM LP)
* Kadavar: Kadavar (This Charming Man/Tee Pee LP)
* Kadavar: Abra Kadavar (This Charming Man/Tee Pee LP)
* Lord Dying: Summon The Faithless (Relapse LP)



I briefly wrote about this Slobber Pup record  a few months ago, but I had only heard the pre-order FLAC download at that time. The 2-LP vinyl and CD have recently been released and, since Black Aces is such a freaking awesome album, it merits another mention on the blog.

As I said then, this is a rare opportunity to hear free-jazz godfather Joe Morris rip it up in an avant-metal setting and, man, he just wails! While occasionally referencing guitar-hero riffs and bluesy pentatonic scales, he still sounds like his usual thorny self, using open strings to introduce sharp dissonances while continually pushing the boundaries of harmony and melody. But, here, his amplifier is turned up to 11! Keyboardist Jamie Saft mostly defers to Morris and only occasionally takes the lead, content to provide tense textures on swirling organs and ensuring the jamming never slacks off into predictable clichés. Meanwhile, bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Balász Pándi expressively manipulate the flow of time, insinuating rather than baldly stating the pulse, which ebbs and flows across the epic-length tracks. Oh, it rocks all right—and hard!—but in a fractalized, freely abstracted way. My favorite parts are when everyone is going full-throttle and yet no one is in the lead: just pure ego-less sound and energy.

The CD comes in a handsome digipack but the vinyl edition is gorgeous: flat, quiet pressings housed in a deluxe gatefold jacket with printed inner sleeves. And the analog sound quality is superb: warm yet finely detailed and completely engrossing (thankfully, the 27-minute opening track has been split across two sides to preserve fidelity). It’s a huge step up from the already good-sounding CD and well worth it for the expanded artwork alone. But in spirit of modern high-tech metal productions, there’s another option available for hardcore audiophiles: a “Studio Master Edition” 24-bit/96kHz FLAC download for an additional £9.99. That’s a little pricey for a digital file—but then again, crank it up to a realistic volume level and you are literally in the room with these guys. Believe me, you’ll be chewing the carpet and begging for mercy by the time it’s over. In whatever format, Black Aces totally rules. Available directly from Rare Noise or via Squidco and Downtown Music Gallery.


As it turns out, Slobber Pup isn’t the first foray into overtly rock-ish territory for Morris. A previous collaboration with Saft, The Spanish Donkey, added Mike Pride on drums for XYX, which was released in 2011 by Northern Spy. Had I known about it at the time, Slobber Pup would probably not have come as such a surprise. But XYX is an altogether different kind of record: darker and more densely textural, with Saft taking an aggressive role on synthesizers and other exotic keyboards while Morris mostly lies back in the mix. There is a metallic heaviness and an intense dose of power electronics, yet XYX remains firmly rooted in the downtown New York free-improv tradition of disciplined restraint. So while The Spanish Donkey never quite rocks out with the gleeful abandon of Slobber Pup, it’s still a wild animal and a step towards what was to come. Oddly, the download contains an extra track, which could have easily fit on the CD (and the album is unavailable on vinyl). However, if you order directly from the label, the download is free. Definitely worth checking out.

I really like these Joe Morris/Jamie Saft collaborations. Let’s hear some more!


Roddus said...

Well, It all arrived in a rush this week with large boxes of CD's arriving in the post after I got stung a considerable amount of money to get them through customs. Wasn't expecting that.
Anyhow this is what showed up this week.

Sun Ra - The Lost Reel Collection (Vol. 4): Dance Of The Living Image
Sun Ra - Live At Slug's Saloon
Sun Ra - Live At Myron's Ballroom
sun Ra - Live At Club Lingerie
Sun Ra - The Creator of the Universe
Sun Ra - Intergalactic Research
Sun Ra - The Shadows Took Shape
Sun Ra - The Universe Sent Me
Sun Ra - The Road To Destiny
sun Ra - Newport Jazz Festival - The Electric Circus
Sun ra - Untitled Recordings
Sun Ra - Berliner Jazztage Philharmonie West Berlin October 1983/live - Paris 11/1/83/Teatro, Milan October 1983/Zurich Jazz Festival October 1983
Sun Ra - Helsinki 1971 - The Complete Concert and Interview
sun Ra - Live In London 11-9-70
Sun Ra - Live at the Red Garter 1970
Sun Ra - Live in Rome 3/28/80
Sun Ra - The Complete Detroit Jazz Center Residency: December 26, 1980 - January 1, 1981
Sun Ra - Sun Ra: The Eternal Myth Revealed, Vol.
Sun Ra - When Angels Speak Of Love
Sun Ra - Other Planes Of There

Masada - Zayin
Masada - Yod
Masada - Tet
Masada - Het
Masada - Hei
Masada - Gimel
Masada - Dalet
Masada - Beit
Masada - Alef
Masada - Vav

JOhn Zorn - Interzone
John Zorn - Enigmata
john Zorn - The Satyrs Play / Cerebrus
John zorn - Nova Express

Landscape - From The Tea-Rooms Of Mars....To The Hell-Holes Of Uranus
UYA- Upstanding Young Americans(listened to some of this, most enjoyable, why am I not surprised at the type of music on this CD);-)
Arbouretum - Coming Out of the Fog

Got another CD shelf being built as I write.

MRS. Roddus is not impressed:-)

still loading Uncut compilations into itunes, so listened to some of that this week also

Still on rotation in the work van:

Shearwater - animal Joy
Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day
Ryan Adams - III/IV
DR. John - Locked Down
Masters Of Reality - Masters Of Reality
Radiohead - OK Computer
P.G.Six - Starry Mind
P.G.Six - Slightly Sorry
Neil Young - Psychedelic Pill
The Dead Weather - Sea Of cowards
Neneth Cherry and the Thing - The Cherry Thing
The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
First Aid Kit - The lions Roar.

Rodger Coleman said...

@Roddus - you are a maniac!

Sam said...

Yes, I would love to get a mail shipment like that!

Here are my (short) lists for last week:

Playlist 2013-07-15:

*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Indeterminate (Improvisations for Piano & Drums)
*Scott Brookman: Smellicopter
*Dionne Warwick: The Dionne Warwick Collection: Her All-Time Greatest Hits (selections)

Reading List 2013-07-15:

*Fleming, Ian. Goldfinger (started)
*Bell, Alden. The Reapers Are the Angels (started/finished)
*Fleming, Ian. Diamonds Are Forever (started/finished)
*Fleming, Ian. From Russia with Love (started/finished)
*Fleming, Ian. Dr. No (started/finished)
*Hiaasen, Carl. Bad Monkey (started/finished)
*Fleming, Ian. Moonraker (finished)
*Theroux, Alexander. Laura Warholic, or, The Sexual Intellectual (in progress)
*Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Guide (in progress)