Sunday, November 21, 2010

AARON ZARZUTZKI & NICK HOFFMAN "Opening Band" c10 [Pilgrim Talk]


Opening Band is the accompanying cassingle to Aaron Zarzutzki's and Nick Hoffman's full-length clatter platter, the Psychophagi LP also on Pilgrim Talk.
The two side-long pieces were culled from the same recordings as the LP but didn't fit on the vinyl. Bite-size morsels are actually really nice for this sort of thing. I'm not exactly sure what sorts of materials were used to create this, apparently Zarzutzki's weapon of choice is some sort of customized/disassembled turntable. I don't hear any records being played so I imagine Zarzutzki's got other plans. Hoffman (Veyou, Katchmare, the Pilgrim Talk and Ghost & Son labels) on the other hand is on the even vaguer outfit of objects and electronics. The first side titled "Chicago Make Some Noise!" wastes no time delving into a nightmarish free-improv zone whipping up enormous noises that sound like dragging a metal shelf across a concrete floor. After a bit of silence and pitter patter, the boys start in again with a constant, vibrating sine tone and another heavy freak out sounding like that shelf being torn apart.
The second side "No One Knows How to Party like Chicago" starts up with what sounds like a sputtering upright bass before one of them asks "Are we recording?" "Yeah" "Oh shit, I didn't know you started." The previous side moved between moments of silence and extreme volume, high peaks and deep valleys, while this side features a larger quantity of sounds being made throughout, some sounding like cymbals or metal pots and others of a more jagged electronic nature.
I dig that these guys are so rooted in the acoustic side of electro-acoustic improv, as it comes out more detailed than the more typical overloaded mixer noise stuff. The duo is incredibly dynamic, able to navigate nimbly between silence and frightening loud clatter. I haven't been able to decide whether I prefer the tape or the record, it usually ends up depending on how much time I have to listen. Whether you treat the tape as a taster, a companion piece or its own release, it is a cool piece of work and the first of what I hope to be many more releases from this new Chicago duo.