RareNoise Records has made a cottage industry of attracting talent that not only doesn't color within the lines, but erases the lines altogether. Brainkiller is no exception to this approach. Comprised of the unlikely assembly of keyboards (Jacob Koller), trombone (Brian Allen), and drums (Hernan Hecht), Brainkiller floats down the same river navigated recently by Berserk! and Slobber Pup to a musical place that can only be described as a crime scene, but in a good way.
Keyboardist Koller is fond of overdriving his Fender Rhodes to the point where he conjures Chick Corea's banging around on Miles Davis: Live At The Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time (Columbia, 2001). Koller tries to mimic electric guitars on "The Vindicator Returns" while providing a parlor concert on acoustic piano on "Noodlin.'" Allen's trombone takes on as many personae as there are songs, from the Ray Nance-blues talking 'bone on "Noodlin'" to the Havana-by-way-of-Tunis tones of "Orange Grey Shades."
The trio is very adept at what might be called jazz. "Plates" is a complex, almost Zappa-esque study, while "Scribble" is uhm-pah with a backbeat. Brainkiller and, indeed, most of the RareNoise roster is attempting to push music to the next level, one that is beyond genre specification and categorization. They do so with a solid sincerity and clear vision that is not so much intending to destroy older forms as to recast them.
Track Listing: The Vindicator Returns; Scribble; Empty Words; Top of the World; Orange
Grey Shades; A Piedi Verso II Sole; Plates; Noodlin; Labratorio; Secret
Mission; Otaku Goes To A Rave; Viv; To Be Continued.
Personnel: Jacob Koller: piano, fender rhodes, keys; Brian Allen: trombone,
effects; Hernan Hecht: drums.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.