129

Totem>: Solar Forge

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
This is by no means an ordinary trio. Totem> is comprised of guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil, bassist Tom Blancarte and drummer Andrew Drury, all three coming from the forward thinking, left-of-center scene of New York improvisers. But it's not only their sense of risk-taking and openness that differentiates Totem> from other trios, but their ability to formulate a new sonic language, not only by experimenting and broadening the timbral palette of their instruments but also by offering a clear and well articulated vision.

All four compositions were captured live, without edits and credited to each trio member. The three instrumentalists seem to dissolve into what we may think as conventional roles of guitar, bass and drums. Each can produce percussive sounds, stress the individuality of their instruments, accentuate rhythms and improvise on themes that they contribute. The sonic envelope of this trio is actually infinite, as it moves in a vertical manner and surges inside its loose contours, horizontally.

Such an attitude dictates dense and powerful soundscapes as the musicians seem to be all over their instruments, even in the sparest moments. But this density does not mean chaotic interplay. There is also a definite sense of urgent flow and pulse amid the jangled and thorny sounds that engulfs the pale contours of these sonic structures. Along the way the music blurs the lines between jazz and other genres, mainly experimental rock—the outcome often borders with low drones of metal endeavors but never loses its substantive core to ethereal sound wandering.

Such a nuanced and careful sonic experiment is offered on the open-ended and abstract "Austenized" and on the final track "Annealed," where snippets of metallic sounds keep pulsating in trio's unique slow burn. The opening track "Blooming Ore" and "Hephaestus Wrath" stress a more provocative rhythmic exploration of timbres.

Solar Forge is very impressive in its boldness, conviction and execution, but clearly not for the faint of heart.


Track Listing: Blooming Ore; Austenized; Hephaestus' Wrath; Annealed.

Personnel: Bruce Eisenbeil: guitar; Tom Blancarte: bass; Andrew Drury: drums.

Title: Solar Forge | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ESP Disk


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
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 The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Kind Of New 2: Blue Is Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Kind Of New 2: Blue Is Paris
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Just Funkin' Around" CD/LP/Track Review Just Funkin' Around
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Off Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Off Beat
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: August 9, 2017
Read "Shades Of Life" CD/LP/Track Review Shades Of Life
by James Nadal
Published: July 18, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.