Thursday, August 19, 2010

WASTELAND JAZZ UNIT/(D)(B)(H) "Split" c40 [Baked Tapes]

This was a good match up by Baked Tapes as WJU and DBH are two of the more interesting “improv” acts out there right now. The Wasteland Jazz side features the duo of Jon and John--on sax and clarinet, respectively, played through a shit-fucking-ton of distortion--absolutely burning as usual this time with the addition of a percussionist. The first part of the sidelong piece “Box Breaker” has something that sounds like a sequenced synthesizer puttering away. I’ve never encountered that on a WJU track before and to be honest I don’t necessarily like it. It’s not so much a matter of harming the piece as just not doing anything for it, it remains pretty static and undynamic and lets the reeds do all the work. They can totally handle it though. The sax and clarinet are as unstatic and dynamic as ever and they are just tearing the house down. Skyscrapers crumble, helicopters infest the sky, these are the sounds of a warzone. The second part of the side notches itself a lot deeper into the red and its some of the most brutal, scathing, NOISY!!!! action from these guys yet. Just motherfucking relentless. Listening to this right now makes me wonder why I don’t have more of their stuff in my collection. These players are total fire, the kind that can actually burn you. Oh, the percussion? I think I heard a cymbal or two through the feedback barrage. Possibly.
Whereas WJU’s contribution was complete pummel, (D)amaged(B)achelor(H)ood contributes a looser improv piece heavy on guitar strings. DBH is Justin Rhody’s junk-improv act which features him and a revolving cast of characters (who all often play multiple instruments) so you literally never know what you’re gonna get. I don’t like this track, “What We Do is Rumor,” as much as the other DBH tape I have, but its certainly got an interesting vibe. Somewhere between jazz and drone the piece lumbers along in murky one-track cassette recorder hell. Sometimes laying low, sometimes getting cranky with feedback , sometimes letting Rhody loose on the trumpet. The not-bad-but-not-great recording quality hampers the jam a little bit though, as all the nuances of group’s playing don’t really shine through. Still it’s a nice one to throw on if your in the mood for some murky freedom blues. It’s definitely an act worth following though, for the pure unpredictability of it if nothing else.
Pitch-perfect photo by J. Rhody on the cover too.

Wasteland Jazz Unit
(D)(B)(H)
Grab it from the bakery floor