Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Wasteland Jazz Ensemble: S/T

6

Wasteland Jazz Ensemble: S/T

By

Sign in to view read count
Wasteland Jazz Ensemble: S/T
Some releases should come with a warning label. We are not talking about Tipper Gore (remember her?) Parents' Music Resource Center (PMRC) stickers warning of the dangers of ''Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society" of the late 1980s. No, the alert that should be attached to S/T by the Wasteland Jazz Ensemble might read something like "secure all sharp objects and nail down anything that could be blown away." Similar to preparing for a category 4 hurricane, there is a bit of preparation required to experience this recording.

Wasteland Jazz Ensemble is an expansion of the duo Wasteland Jazz Unit of Jon Lorenz and John Rich. Both are reed players specializing in free improvisation with a premium on noise. Their saxophone and clarinets are fed through feedback electronics resulting in an onslaught of energy and noise, maybe best described as entropy music for robots. Their roots are in the Japanoise music of Masami Akita aka Merzbow, C.C.C.C., Hijokaidan, and Incapacitants, with close ties to the reeds and guitar trio Borbetomagus.

With this double LP, the duo expands into a septet that includes bassist Edward Ricart, the electronics of Matthew Reis, guitarist Dylan Posa, and percussionists Brett Nagafuchi and Ryan Jewell. The touchpoint of this septet begins with Peter Brötzmann's Machine Gun (BRÖ, 1968), John Coltrane's Ascension (Impulse!, 1966), and Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz (Atlantic, 1961), then incorporates the noise experimentations of Cuts Of Guilt, Cuts Deeper (Rare Noise, 2015) by Merzbow, Mats Gustafsson, Thurston Moore, and alázs Pándi.

"Untitled I" begins with a drumstick count into mayhem much like John Zorn's compositions for his Naked City band. But where Zorn's chaos may last 20 seconds, the WJE expands the tumult for nearly fifteen minutes. The shortest track, "Untitled V," at just over four minutes is no less punishing. The septet equipped with Reis' electronics, plus the feedback via contact mics of Lorenz' saxophone and Rich's clarinet does not allow for a pause to take a breath throughout the seven tracks. The expansion from a duo to this larger ensemble brings added layers to the experience. The thunder of Ricart's bass and the double drumming of Nagafuchi and Jewell add nuance, if you can accept nuance as a possibility of free jazz and noise. The music is not for the faint of heart, nor is the sound faint in your ears. It is a full-on cyclone experience without melodies and without discernible arrangements. It does though contain an animating spirit. A powerful life force that is indisputable for those prepared to listen.

Track Listing

LP1: Untitled I; Untitled II; Untitled III; LP2: Untitled IV; Untitled V; Untitled VI; Untitled VII.

Personnel

Jon Lorenz
saxophone
John Rich
clarinet
Dylan Posa
guitar
Additional Instrumentation

John Rich: electronics; Matthew Reis: electronics; Brett Nagafuchi: percussion; Ryan Jewell: percussion.

Album information

Title: S/T | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Gilgongo Records


< Previous
Fire In The West

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

In Situ
Alexa Torres
Just Found Joy
Ricky Alexander
Hittin' It
Mike Clement

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.