What do you get when you cross a cutting edge real-time electronics artist with a world-class woodwinds artist? You could get a cold academic study in sound processing that would be "interesting," or you could get a hairy two-headed goat that talks incessantly but never listens to what its other half is saying. Or you could get the raw synergy of this album. Immediately, this music reminded me of Anthony Braxton's Open Aspects and Richard Teitelbaum's Time Zones albums, which was a nice surprise, because that is an area of improvisation which seems to have been neglected in recent years and remains ripe for exploration.
The fundamental difference between the legacy of Music For Electronics & Woodwinds and the currently formulated "Jazztronica" recipe is one of form and density. Similar to Braxton and Teitelbaum's duets from the '70s and early '80s, Trayle and Golia share a penchant for free improvisation and respect for the space between phrases. There is much more room for taking the unused path in this format, and with it the caveat of losing sight of where you are. On these nine pieces Trayle and Golia never once lose sight of where they're going. The music is concise, heartfelt, and emotionally diverse.
Vinny Golia is a master multi-instrumentalist/improviser, and Mark Trayle is surfin' with the Supercollider Alien in real-time with software that could easily dissolve right out from under him at any moment. "Supercollider" is the name of the computer program he's using on this recording. Both players have access to a huge sonic palette, with which they unabashedly revel. On three pieces Trayle uses Golia's playing as his sound source, and it's amazing how well the electronic sounds complement and extend the acoustic elements of the woodwinds. The other pieces are more tangential in their interrelationships, but no less valuable.
These players represent the other side of the "Jazztronica" coin, one that is less driven by rhythm or pulse, but more interested in the exploration of less formalized musical relationships. The landscapes they create are like unnamed planets that have a logic different from our own. They follow their own unique trajectories and build strange shapes around us. This can be an unnerving process in the hands of less gifted musicians, but a real treat in this case. This album is loads of fun and still packed with heavy duty musical wallopnot a cold, academic two-headed goat talkin' shit about nothing at all.
If you're interested in the recent music of Matthew Shipp, Toshinori Kondo, or Dave Douglas, give this disk a spin to experience what can happen when electronica meets jazz from a whole other angle.
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