Nels Cline, Wally Shoup, and Chris Corsano combine to bring a few generations of ferocious improvisational sonic sorcery to this appropriately titled release. With lightning reflexes and diamond intuition, the trio veers from scorched earth intensity to restrained journeys across eerie irradiated landscapes on a collective whim. While the towering technique inherent in the ensemble implies a vein-bursting blow fest, these three players explore regions of haunting understatement with the same strength of inspiration.
The ride begins with Lake of Fire Memories. Shoup shrieks from the top of his range against Cline's jagged electro noise. Corsano sweeps them away like a human drum storm for an exhausting two minutes. The title track opens with Cline racing around the bass strings. Shoup blows low and relatively reserved as Corsano keeps up an athletic pace. They merge into one blasting extended improvisation that blows out into extended techniques of soft sounds from indeterminable sources. Electric Clineisms, soft Shoup multiphonics, and Corsano's scraped cymbals transport the listener to the language of satellites. After long spacious sound, a deep ominous rumble from Cline signals a return to fire from ice and the ensemble blazes into the finale.
Minus Mint coils sensuously with gentle nuance and beautiful tones. Cline takes a knuckle-twisting turn on "Beard of Pine, cheered on by Shoup's alto and Corsano's omni-rhythms. A restrained catching of breath restores the players to a devastating pyrotechnical display. Ending with another atmospheric interlude, "Ghost Bel Canto floats on Cline and Corsano's colors, while Shoup offers round and rough-edged snatches of alto soul.
Cline, Shoup and Corsano successfully meld their disparate voices into a unified field of sound and vision.
Personnel: Nels Cline: electric guitar, effects; Wally Shoup: alto saxophone; Chris Corsano: drums,