Thee Unhip is a poem by band member, trumpeter/electronics artist C.J. Borosque. The seasoned and thoroughly hip band that was founded by woodwind ace Rent Romus in 1984 is a collaboration between West Coast experimental jazz record labels, Nine Winds and Edgetone. Exciting, raucous, slightly spaced-out and wily, the band has quite a bit of fun with the expressionistic side of jazz and improvisation. However, the quartet's proving ground is based on laudable technical faculties and intriguing song-forms, where bristling horns give way to foreboding plots, flourishing micro-themes and discretionary use of electronics to either lighten the load or instill ...read more
The superb Ministry of Rites - GRID yields a paradigm for the present day advancement electronics-based music's transmission of depth of expressionism. Amid numerous sound-shaping textures and an abundance of coherent mini-themes, Tobias Fischer and Rent Romus recorded this album remotely without any predefined musical borders. While they often project a mammoth wall of sound, it's all engineered upon mind-altering sonic-scapes and other curiously interesting facets.
The duo slams the psyche into submission, while offering numerous mind-bending propositions. At times there are streaming sounds of a river intermixed with notions of high-decibel machinery gone awry. Other passages are ...read more
Always on the move, Rent Romus has gone after the exploratory ethic of science fiction" with this quintet recording dedicated to author Philip K. Dick. The title track leads off with a swirling, mysterious darkness, proceeding gradually to a full-on dark nightmare assault. After the crescendo finally reaches its crest, the group turns on a dime to shifting polyrhythmic funk. The beauty of dedicating a recording to a writer with the imagination of Dick is that you earn the freedom to spin the music off in a hundred different directions, and that's what Romus and his quintet do on PKD ...read more
Among the free set, Albert Ayler tributes have become a sort of rite of passage. It's a fitting setting to elaborate the fundamentally spiritual aspects of the music. Witness Peter Brotzmann's '94 Die Like A Dog Trio, which reminded the world that his musical conception extends far beyond screeches and snarls. Or David Murray's more open-ended '77 Flowers for Albert, which ignited a persistent debate over Murray's seemingly ubiquitous Aylerisms. Both records were defining moments in the respective saxophonist's careers. These things often end up saying a lot. (And that's fitting, given the inspiration.)
Rent Romus steps to the stage ...read more