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Album Review

Sun of Goldfinger: Congratulations to You

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Sun of Goldfinger: Congratulations to You
As if Tim Berne were a pied piper bearing the eleventh hour of democracy solely on his back, on the fourteen-minute opener "Bat Tears" (recorded in 2010) his rebel alto and now-retired baritone saxophones presciently pierce the abhorrent now under which we all labor, with a viscerally ecstatic, David Torn-Dopplered, sweeping, urgency which seizes the senses with all the abstract subtlety of a meat hook.

Now that is a boatload to take in, but so is the concept of freedom and how easily it can be lost. Sun of Goldfinger mightily prefer to keep their freedom and, by some inexplicable but innate sonic and spiritual association, we get to keep ours too as Congratulations to You vigorously, boldly and, best of all, unapologetically testifies to. A walloping, adventurous follow-up to last year's eponymous, spellbinding ECM debut, Congratulations to You captures the trio's live birth gig in Brooklyn 2010 with unparalleled power and clarity.

Released in digital format only, Congratulations to You is an electrifying fifty-six-minute rout wherein Berne, guitarist/innovator Torn and power-mad drummer Ches Smith create instigative cacophonies, empowering each man to ride his own internal Banzai Pipeline, sprawling, brawling, caterwauling their way through time, space and all the human clutter in between, with a laser-sharp contention that no margin, no boundary, no expectation remains unexplored. Beaten down. Rebuilt anew.

Once immersed in the sheer force of "Coco Tangle" one might want to rightfully argue that, falling just short of the half-hour mark, this seething whiplash could have gone on far longer, in fact, could be still ping-ponging across the universe if not beaten consciousness. Its ebb and tide of loops and washes, courtesy of Torn's unerring calculations of relativity, bonds the other two variables, Berne and Smith, in a squalling, honking, pummelling rock'n'roll dialogue that, believe it or not. morphs into something resembling a loose calypso. Go figure. Pure free associative bliss.

"Congratulations to You," the smudgy creation from which the release takes its moniker, finds Torn and Smith ambling around each other, waiting for the other to play his hand, as the density and intensity swells and swales relentlessly into a foot tapping romp. Berne's explosive entrance only ups the mad ante and fades away, leaving the listener again wishing the damn thing was longer. Available only through Bandcamp, Congratulations to You is resistance music without challenge.

Track Listing

Bat Tears; Coco Tangle; Congratulations to You.

Personnel

Tim Berne: saxophone, alto; David Torn: guitar, electric; Ches Smith: drums.

Album information

Title: Congratulations to You | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Screwgun Records

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