LISA CAMERON AND CLAIRE ROUSAY “Vertices” (Personal Archives)


I’m so used to experimental percussion releases like this one to be abstract minimalist performances around a prepared kit where it’s struck very infrequently with suspect rhythm. Not that, of course, all drum music has to have “distinct rhythm” or anything, but let me be the first to say “Thank god” that Vertices has elements of a smashed jazz watermelon to the face. Does it have its abstract moments, it’s passages of experimentation? Well, yeah, that’s kind of what Lisa Cameron and claire rousay do – they experiment within their idiom. Does that mean I’m left high and dry on a pleasurable percussive experience? Not on your life – I’m in the splash zone.

“Taut” is a weird intro, with what sounds like a metal string stretching maybe past its prime tensility to a point where it could be struck or rubbed to such a degree that the potential energy stored up in it is instantly audible. Over almost ten minutes there’s thwacks and runs, crisp reminders that we probably just heard a drum head being stretched, not a bloody guitar string. Anyway, ever listen to jazz drum solos and not wonder where the rest of the ensemble is? Get used to it with these two – they’re like they’re own group, and they have no use for any melodic accompaniment. Plus, the drum solos sound like a full band.

Get ready also for feedback of some sort – the centerpiece of Vertices is “Invitation,” an excursion in atmosphere. It seems impossible that Cameron and rousay can coax such subtlety from such instruments, but hey, such is the case. The duo rips some more jazz drums on the closer, “Spurn.” I think I may have peed a little in my euphoric state. I did not see that reaction coming. I’m not saying it was unpleasant or anything, it was just weird that I got to such a high degree of enjoyment and then – boop – pee.

I’ll go back and edit that out later.