STRIPPED- DOWN, FAST-PACED ABSTRACTION FEATURING GUITAR, BASS AND DRUMS PUSHED TO THEIR SONIC LIMITS. A STUNNING SALVO OF INSTRUMENTAL MODERNISM
The trio of Sandy Ewen (guitar), Damon Smith (bass) and Weasel Walter (drums) issues forth a 78-minute CD containing nothing short of alien technique and structural disruption. The music offers complete modernist abstraction with teeth and urgency. It is the sound of extreme polyphony and counterpoint, veering radically from density to space, pinprick to roar within instants. The eight pieces here range from 4 to 17 minutes in length and each retain their own tight focus. There are no lulls. There is maximum variation. Play it loud and prepare to get weird.
Sandy Ewen is a rising talent hailing from Houston, Texas best known for her work with the rock band Weird Weeds. Her vision expands upon the likeminded approaches of heralded deconstructionists like Kevin Drumm and Keith Rowe while never imitating. Her setup is simple: a guitar, stereo amplification, distortion and various preparations. She prefers to exend the vocabulary of the instrument with raw ingenuity, eschewing the overly complicated electronic enhancements of many of her contemporaries. This release is a very clear statement of her intent.
On this release she is backed by the prolific improvisers Damon Smith and Weasel Walter. The duo has worked regularly as a rhythm section in varied contexts since 2006 and the music here is an excellent example of their urgent, brisk interplay. Smith is a master of the extended bass lexicon, following in the footsteps of the great Peter Kowald, forging ahead towards the beyond. Walter’s percussion is ceaselessly restless, defying logic and breaking speed records with glee.
This release comes with a beautiful 16-page full color booklet featuring Sandy's explosive visual artwork as well as liner notes by seminal improvising guitarist Henry Kaiser. A must-have for fans of the classic FMP and Incus schools of improvisation, or it just might be the loudest, most muscular EAI record ever recorded . . . file under “IMPROVISED MUSIC”
This trio has performed in Texas as well as quartet performances in New York (with Jim Sauter) and Oakland (with Roscoe Mitchell). An upcoming performance in Cambridge, MA is scheduled with master trombonist Jeb Bishop.
Sandy Ewen - guitar
Damon Smith - double bass
Weasel Walter - drums