181

Mercury Falls: Quadrangle

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Mercury Falls: Quadrangle It begins with a stark electric drone, an eerie, throbbing repetition from which the familiar cry of a saxophone emerges. The tune is "Spring Pools," and it sounds like music that swells out of the quiet after the Apocalypse. The group is Mercury Falls, a saxophone/guitar/bass/drums ensemble with some deft electronic embellishments. The music could be called ambient, with its seemingly drifting momentum, but it's too gutsy to hold that tag.

Heading up the group are reedman Patrick Cress and guitarist Ryan Francesconi, who wrote or co-wrote each of the seven tunes on Quadrangle. Their influences are wide-ranging—Balkan folk music, American jazz and Indie rock. The music they make is quite original—an odd amalgam of Bill Frisell folksiness, ECM spaciousness, subdued garage rock grit and floating, Daniel Lanois ambiance, serrated with a hard edge.

A suite-like, unhurried evenness of the seven compositions pervades. "Speak Without Ears" has a frictionless monorail momentum built on Cress' metallic guitar twangs and a droning, clattering bass/drum rhythm. "Quad Idea" opens with a mournful foghorn sound, a reed-produced warning that blows into some saxophone double-tracking- -the alto's plaintive cry over the deep grumble of the baritone, accompanied by the glow of neon guitar and a subtle electronic luminescence.

"Years Without Speech" has a holy resonance, like music played inside the thick walls of an ancient house of worship. "Solar Plexis" sounds unearthly; music beamed in from the vastness of outer space, a good description of Quadrangle, a starkly original work of sonic art.

Track Listing: Spring Pools; Speak Without Ears; Quad Idea; Years Without Speech; Insurance Rep; Solar Plexis; Lullaby for Beane.

Personnel: Ryan Francesconi: guitar, electronics; Patrick Cress: alto and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet, flute; Tim Bulkley: drums; Eric Perney: upright bass; Michelle Amador: voice (1); Barry Syska: voice (4)

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Porto Franco Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "Nomad" CD/LP/Track Review Nomad
by Nick Davies
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "First Gathering" CD/LP/Track Review First Gathering
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.