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...

531

Dna: DNA on DNA

By

Sign in to view read count
There are certain strong alliances between the punk ethos and free music, for a do-it-yourself aesthetic pervades both, in medium as well as practice—self-produced albums and concerts, and collectivity (the Arkestra house as a punk house?) for example, as well as the fact that both have been strongly aligned with protest, both in America and in Europe. Among a coterie of musicians in New York in the early '80s, the merger of ethic and aesthetic fueled a small group of bands, the members of which have gone on to become noted improvisers: Ikue Mori, Arto Lindsay and Thurston Moore are just a few associated with the No Wave "scene" who have taken this path.

Guitarist Lindsay and Mori, then a percussionist, were two-thirds of DNA, one of the most visionary groups of this circle. Releasing a scant few tracks in their approximately four-year lifespan (though over thirty appear on this disc), they evolved quickly, from literal "No Wave" retribution of the jagged, keyboard-fueled post-Kraftwerk New Wave during keyboardist Robin Crutchfield's tenure, to a more driven and propulsive beast with the replacement of Crutchfield with former Pere Ubu bassist Tim Wright. Arto Lindsay's guitar playing of this period owes quite a bit to Sharrock, Bailey and Ray Russell, and his vocalizing is difficult enough to decipher lyrically that it becomes another instrument, either as frantic as his guitar terrorism or as rhythmic as Mori's percussion.

Rhythmically, the Wright-era DNA created some of the most driving music this side of punk, certainly influenced by the subtly changing rhythms of minimalism but also the all-over web of sound produced by Milford Graves' tom collection (yes, there are moments here that could be linked, in however an obscure fashion, with Babi and its ilk). Mori is that much of a drummer (or was; she is now primarily an electronic artist), but Wright's fluid juggernaut is the keystone: with Crutchfield providing an electronic foil to both Mori and Lindsay, the music hit lock-step grooves but didn't really move the way it did with Wright as anchor. Consequently, Mori's percussive contributions carry more weight, and Lindsay's somewhat strangled approach is freer with a true foundation from which to leap.

DNA is not, by any means, free improvisation—rather, the link is closer to Captain Beefheart and This Heat, utilizing seeming openness for both taut structural aims and social signifier. Their influence—or that of the proverbial well—has been felt in many punk groups since, but the fact that two-thirds of this group went on to illustrious places in contemporary composed and improvised music make DNA an important, if somewhat odd branch of the tree. Not to mention perversely and immensely rocking.


Track Listing: You & You - Little Ants - Egomaniac's Kiss - Lionel - Not Moving - Size - New Fast - 5:30 - Blonde Red Head - 32123 - New New - Lying On the Sofa Of Life - Grapefruit - Taking Kid To School - Young Teenagers Talk Sex - Delivering The Goods - Police Chase - Cop Buys a Donut - Detached - Low - Nearing - 5:30 (early version) - Surrender - Newest Fastest - Detached - Brand New - Horse - Forgery - Action - Marshall - A New Low - Calling to Phone

Personnel: Arto Lindsay (el-g, voc) Ikue Mori (d) Robin Crutchfield (synth, voc) Tim Wright (el-b, el-g)

Title: DNA on DNA | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: No More Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
DNA on DNA

DNA on DNA

No More Records
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk CD/LP/Track Review
Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Pardes CD/LP/Track Review
Pardes
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Music for a Free World CD/LP/Track Review
Music for a Free World
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Solo Contra" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "CTI" CD/LP/Track Review CTI
by Joe Gatto
Published: September 28, 2018
Read "Brothers" CD/LP/Track Review Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read "Lucus" CD/LP/Track Review Lucus
by Don Phipps
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "More Songs About Error And Shame" CD/LP/Track Review More Songs About Error And Shame
by Anya Wassenberg
Published: March 27, 2018
Read "Roadmaps" CD/LP/Track Review Roadmaps
by Paul Naser
Published: March 14, 2018