All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Laurence Pike: Distant Early Warning

Gareth Thompson By

Sign in to view read count
Laurence Pike famously studied with jazz piano legend Mike Nock at Sydney's Conservatorium. The master and his apprentice then later worked together, both in concert and in the studio. But whilst the percussionist Pike may be shorn of his guru's input on this album, Nock's imprint is still tangible.

Distant Early Warning was conceived as a technological and spiritual jazz suite. Pike is the only performer, though this is not just an album for drummers to groove on. The use of a drum pad sampler allows Pike to conjure keyboard sounds and myriad sonic patterns. His inventive percussion works in tandem with machinery, not in detachment from it.

One glance at some track titles lets us know of Pike's concerns here: "Life Hacks," "Cyber Bully," "Corporate Memory," "Clouds And Wires." The unreal and virtual worlds we occupy seem to weigh heavily on his mind. Appropriate then that this album contains no human utterance. A comment, perhaps, on our absorbed selves who gather silently in public places. But if mind expansion is your musical bag, then Pike's offering should be welcomed.

It seems ironic that such voguish themes are evoked using the most primal instrument of our species. But the drum kit is nothing if not versatile in Pike's hands. His two decades as an innovator in jazz and electronica reach another peak here. On each cut you sense something seismic is about to occur, or has just occurred. A chaos of tinkling noises, maybe the din of infotainment, rises on opening piece "Life Hacks." The title track is all blips and beats like a strange code left to decipher.

Throughout, you get the essence of Pike's jazzy know-how in each rush of cymbals, cross-rhythm or continual pulse. You also sense Nock's minimalist influence when Pike's drum pad triggers piano-like motifs. On the icy "Clouds And Wires" these might well echo a ringtone, or other intrusive noise. Mini explosions recur on "Hard Feelings" with ominous regularity. "Cyber Bully" opens with a drum rap like some kid bashing a tin can, as Pike layers up a claustrophobic sound wall.

Even the cover artwork is telling, with its ancient and abstract desert images. Mystery and myth abound on this album sleeve, much like the music it contains. Yet for all its nervous modernism, Distant Early Warning is a work of intense serenity. It may echo our chronic culture, but offers a beautiful space with room to breathe.

Track Listing: Life Hacks; Distant Early Warning; Clouds And Wires; Hard Feelings; Cyber Bully; Corporate Memory.

Personnel: Laurence Pike: drums, percussion, drum pad sampler.

Title: Distant Early Warning | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: The Leaf Label

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Tandem" CD/LP/Track Review Tandem
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2018
Read "In Transit" CD/LP/Track Review In Transit
by Kris Perdew
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "Code Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Code Girl
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Jazz Just Wants To Have Fun" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Just Wants To Have Fun
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 23, 2018
Read "The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Solano Canyon" CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018