175

The Spanish Donkey: XYX

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
The Spanish Donkey: XYX The Spanish Donkey imparts a take-no-prisoners approach with flailing electronics, bristling movements and a sonic assault that remains consistent during the two extended works of XYX. Meant to be played at a relatively high volume, this trio of prominent, modern-era improvisers/stylists adheres to a semi-controlled state of chaos, marked by doomsday theme-building exercises and polytonal noise music. It's an open-world scenario, gushing with bizarre contrasts, impressionistic dialogues and maddening opuses.

Guitarist Joe Morris renders punctilious and seething single note flurries, as keyboardist Jamie Saft streams a barrage of synth sounds throughout. However, the music is programmatic, in a loose sense due to its continuous asymmetrical pulses, largely steered by drummer Mike Pride, who intermittently stays behind the beat or shifts the unit into multilayered directions.

The program is dappled with a dour set of circumstances that includes grinding movements and cavernous landscapes. The musicians do their best to vividly convey a situation that may summon notions of a massive mechanical breakdown amid the gushing dreamscapes and splattering tonal swashes. But in several instances they throttle the flows to propagate an endless loop via a barrage of crashing drums, unorthodox phrasings, and Saft's manifold line of attack, as subliminal melodies give way to mutant passages and fragmented motifs.

XYX is a demanding listen, and requires a good deal of stamina from its audience. Even for hardcore avant-garde or free-jazz admirers, the album presents numerous challenges, especially since it's loud and seldom deviates from an extensive plane of torrential movements. Other than the dips, spikes, and occasional readjustments, the music suffers a bit from a superfluous collection of propositions. There's not a whole lot of variance when viewing the overall schematic, where notions of a musical marathon contest come to fruition.


Track Listing: Mid-Evil; XYX.

Personnel: Joe Morris: guitar; Jamie Saft: MiniMoog, Roland Jupiter 6, Roland SH-01, Korg Lambda, Korg CX3, Yamaha CS-01, bass guitar; Mike Pride: drums, percussion & nose whistle.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Northern-Spy Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Perihelion" CD/LP/Track Review Perihelion
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Dare To Be" CD/LP/Track Review Dare To Be
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!