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The repetition of certain sounds prevails in the process of reaching a trance-like mental state. Repetition in music is also crucial to the spine of rhythmic construction. The mergence of these two functions adds up to a strange mix of sound-making, not altogether punk rock nor jazz, on Thirsty Ear's The Gang Font feat. Interloper. The group is made up of guitarist Eric Fratzke, bass guitarist Greg Norton from Husker Du, keyboardist Craig Taborn, and drummer Dave King from The Bad Plus.
Electric guitars, keyboards, and drums vitalize this recording. They strike a balance that vacillates between high-end rock guitar riffs throughout to a deep, hard-driving rumble of the drums, as on "Let's Find a Place to Cool Down."
King composed six of the pieces, Fratzke, three, and the pair collaborated on one. No single cut is dominated by the instrument of the composer. Each musician has done well to invite the others in. The guitar chords and drums, though, are huge. A definite pulse penetrates the recording, the tempos of which only change slightly track-to- track. The guitars take care of all the details of the sound. They weave curtains of multi-colored layers. Fratzke appropriately demonstrates his attentions to guitar playing intricacies in "The Litigious Mike Love (Love, lead guitarist of The Beach Boys). The guitars often play chicken with the drums, endowing a persistent, invigorating dynamic to the entire recording.
The keyboards generally magnify the pulse, break up the repetitive guitar lick surface and become a bridge from one sound wall to the next, as on "A Chance to Play Across the Shadows." But the keyboards also take a lead in this same cut and dance across the sound surface for a change of pace, to soften the overall edginess of the guitar and drums. The keyboards are up front on "Herman Ze German Cassette ; Taborn describes the character of the music within an indisputable context.
The music on The Gang Font feat. Interloper comes on strong. Once on board with the way the heaviness unfolds, you are there for the duration. Captivated, you will find it difficult to un-tether yourself from its hold.
Track Listing: You Haven't Lived Until You Had To Have Read Beowulf; Spencer's Background VS. Todd's Claim; Homage: Claude Schnell; A Chance To Play Across The Shadows; The Familiar Cadence of Banging; Herman Ze German Cassette; Let's Go Find A Quiet Place To Cool Down; The Litigious Mike Love; 'Wild' Mike Brown; European Ambulance.
Personnel: Erik Fratzke: six and twelve string electric guitars, electric bass; Greg Norton: fretted and fretless electric bass, acoustic bass guitar; Craig Taborn: keyboards; Dave King: drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.