“Evidence” C18 (Heavy Mess)

My wife used to play clarinet in marching band back in high school. Her school marched in the Rose Bowl Parade! I thought that was pretty cool – that’s a big deal for marching bands.

She has not, to my knowledge, done mescaline.

Christian Michael Filardo, he of experimentalist and electronic tendencies, eschews electronics fully and embraces experimentation through endurance on Evidence, his first release for Heavy Mess. Indeed, over two untitled tracks that stretch eighteen minutes in total, Filardo plays nothing but clarinet and records under the influence of a “mescaline compound.” There are no overdubs, no electronic embellishments, and the set is fully improvised. Insert shocked emoji face from my iPhone library here.

Sure, you could say that you know exactly what something like that sounds like, and I’d have to force my opinion upon you because you’re dead wrong. To say that these two pieces are not fully batshit (or complete horseshit) is a testament to the level of control Filardo exhibits here, regardless of his state of mind. At times stretching notes like night on the French countryside, at others filleting the keys like Benny Goodman, Filardo is never less than mesmerizing, and if I weren’t a narcotics teetotaler, I’d join him in one of his mescaline cocktails to see if it’s any different on the other side. It doesn’t matter, in the end, because I’m dead straight (save for a bit of white wine), and I’m enjoying the heck out of one man playing clarinet on hallucinogens. Go figure.

--Ryan Masteller