All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

167

Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise: We Are Falling

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Israeli ex-pat Asaf Sirkis has been gradually insinuating himself into the UK scene since moving to London in 1999. His most visible work to date has been with the controversial saxophonist Gilad Atzmon's Oriental House Ensemble where, in addition to playing drums, he's been able to take advantage of his background in ethnic percussion instruments. His broad orchestral approach to kit and hand percussion may, however, be best heard on woodwind multi-instrumentalist Tim Garland's sweeping and ambitious If the Sea Replied (Sirocco, 2005).

Hearing Sirkis' work on the Middle Eastern-Coltrane fusion of Atzmon's band and the classically informed open-mindedness of Garland's Lighthouse project does nothing to prepare you for the dark energy of his own group, Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise. We Are Falling is the keyboards/guitar/drums trio's second release, and it's a strange amalgam of influences that's best described as fusion—but in many ways coming from such unexpected places that the application of conventional labels is pointless.

Steve Lodder, while credited with synthesizer, tends to favour an organ tone that's closer to church than Hammond. The brooding but lightly textured "Another Being feels like a strange confluence of Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal's melancholy Descendre (ECM, 1980), Carla Bley's harmonic specificity, and a certain Messiaen-like density. Guitarist Mike Outram, who's made some fine records in recent years with Martin Speake—in particular the alto saxophonist's imaginative look at Charlie Parker (Jazzizit, 2005)—is a broadly versed player who sounds like a young Mick Goodrick on "Another Being, but he kicks in the distortion and references a more restrained Allan Holdsworth on the gothic-sounding title track.

Elsewhere the trio comes across like a 21st Century version of Tony Williams' Lifetime, in particular on "Life Itself, where Sirkis demonstrates the same kind of power and polyrhythmic facility that Williams did. He solos with maelstrom-like intent over Lodder's 7/8 bass pattern until a lean but opaque theme emerges and sets the harmonic context for Outram's wah wah-driven solo, which emphasizes texture as much as linear development.

The European references to abstruse contemporary classicism and a most remote tip of the hat to progressive bands like Soft Machine and National Health help give the trio its unique complexion. It can be a sheer force of nature, as on the title track, but is also paradoxical on "Spirit, where Outram's acoustic guitar intro completely misdirects the listener, leaving one completely unprepared for the Zawinul-like groove that follows. This sets up an anarchistic duet between Lodder and Sirkis that eventually pulls Outram back in, finally making sense of it all.

The trio is also capable of calmer vistas, but despite the gentler nature of "Galactic Citizen (Part 2) and "Ida & Dactyl, Sirkis still leans towards an ambiguous and brooding atmosphere, though it has a curious beauty if you look hard enough.

While hardly optimistic, We are Falling is nevertheless uniquely compelling, inexorably drawing the listener into Sirkis' opaque and foreboding musical landscape.

Visit Asaf Sirkis on the web.


Track Listing: Another Being; Life Itself; Galactic Citizen (Part 1); Galactic Citizen (Part 2); We are Falling; The Bottomless Pit Surrounding You; Spirit; Ida & Dactyl (& Ghost of Dactyl).

Personnel: Asaf Sirkis: drums, keyboards (3, 8); Steve Lodder: synthesizer, piano (9); Mike Outram: electric guitar, acoustic guitar (7).

Title: We Are Falling | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Konnex Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Live Reviews
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Read more articles
Shepherd's Stories

Shepherd's Stories

Stonebird Productions
2013

buy
Asaf Sirkis Trio: Shepherd's Stories

Asaf Sirkis Trio:...

Stonebird Productions
2013

buy
Letting Go

Letting Go

Stonebird Productions
2010

buy
The Monk

The Monk

SAM Productions
2008

buy
The Song Within

The Song Within

SAM Productions
2007

buy
We Are Falling

We Are Falling

Konnex Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Brother Raymond CD/LP/Track Review
Brother Raymond
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Frescalalto CD/LP/Track Review
Frescalalto
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Motion
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 22, 2018
Read El Duende CD/LP/Track Review
El Duende
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Vol II CD/LP/Track Review
Vol II
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Think Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Think Ahead
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "Open Book" CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Glass" CD/LP/Track Review Glass
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 10, 2018