5

TOTEM>: Voices of Grain

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
TOTEM>: Voices of Grain
It took five years for the New York-based trio TOTEM> to release its sophomore album (after Solar Forge ESP, 2008) but the waiting paid off. This leaderless trio—comprised of guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil, double bassist Tom Blancarte and drummer Andrew Drury—is more than the sum of its parts and stronger than ever.

The trio alternates between experimental sonic exploration, and intense fiery free improvisations. On one hand, the sounds themselves, raw and brutal as they come, and the constant urge to explore its colors and auras fascinates the trio; on the other hand there is a compromised attempt to tie these sounds in loose contours. The trio developed its tight interplay over the course of countless rehearsals, gigs and immediate communication. Ideas are exchanged, developed, and blossom in an instant before the trio begins to explore another wave of ideas.

The seven pieces are dense textures where each musician contributes all of their energy to the accumulative and solidifying effort, employing extended techniques, frenzied rhythms, a determined and focused force that pushes forward in all directions all the time. This restless trio does not allow for even a second of rest from its hyperactive and high-octane mode of operation, and demonstrated this triumphantly on the explosive "Post-Repeating."

The pieces that focus on pure sonic researches are simply masterful and manage to form cohesive textures out of abstract, open-ended articulations. On "Written in the Body" the intense and spare sonic exploration creates a mysterious soundscape where the sounds produced from the guitar, double bass, the drum skins, and cymbals are melted into one unity with a wide spectrum of variations from raw noise through industrial and metallic to micro-tonal effects-laden sounds. "Towards Jouissance" is en electrified distorted texture that reaches to extraterrestrial sonic regions, while "Message Without a Code" structures a disturbing, metallic ambiance and the last piece "Silence On Its Road" surprises in its gentle, comforting sounds.

A true masterpiece.

Track Listing

Genosong; Written in the Body; Counter Memory; Towards Jouissance; Message Without a Code; Post-Repeating; Silence On Its Road.

Personnel

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

Album information

Title: Voices of Grain | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: New Atlantis Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

A Centering Peace
Brian Woodruff Sextet
Five Down Blues
Kyle Asche Organ trio
Long Tall Sunshine
Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor
Wonderful World
Chris Standring
Hope
Tomas Liska & Invisible World

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.