Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fire! with Jim O'Rourke - Unreleased? [Rune Grammofon]

Mats Gustafsson - baritone saxophone, fender saxophone, live electronics
Johan Berthling - electric bass
Andreas Werliin - drums and percussion
Jim O'Rourke - electric guitar, synthesizer, harmonica

Rune Grammofon 2011

A follow-up to the great "You liked me five minutes ago" released late 2009 by the band and one of the many collaborations between Mats Gustafsson and Sonic Youth guitarists (be it Jim O'Rourke or Thurston Moore, or both of them).
Don't expect jazz sound of any kind here, no swinging rhythms, even no furious attacks Mats is known for, it's quite for from any kind of jazz, free-jazz or free-improv music you might look for seeing his name on the list. Instead the group offers you a 40-minutes (way too short) ride into the world of hypnotic groove and psychodelic trans. Music that is patient and focused in a way it slowly evolves, moving through dark and eerie space.
"are you both still unreleased?" moves slowly, like an ominous shape of trans-oceanic ship that leaves the coast covered with fog and darkness. Don't let the humorous titles fool you ("...please, i am released?", "by whom and why am i previously unreleased?") - this music is serious and dark, and powerful like the gravity of black hole. 'by whom..." is a miniature exercise in a more abstract attitude, giving more liberty to the rhythm section in exploring the myriad of sounds (while they're serving the anchor duty throughout the rest of the album). The 17-minutes, monumental "happy ending borrowing yours" brings the album to its end., full of whirling sounds, mysterious and disturbing noises. And while the explosion never really comes, you can feel the threat all the time, like the madness and chaos are trying to escape from under the surface.
The heavy rhythm section (powerful as they come) provides enough gravity for O'Rourke's guitar pyrotechnics and Gustafsson's energetic baritone soaring over - but their playing is much more about controlling the dynamics and mantaining the focus level rather than simply boosting it up (although it's all very relative obviously and they spice things up and add more fire the whole time - most evident in the "...please, i am released"). 

Call it an improvised post-psychodelic-kraut-noise-rock or whatever else. This is hypnotic and trans-inducing powerfull stuff. Are you up for the crazy ride? Break the safety belt and listen loud.And abandon all hope.

While this clip is somehow more expansive (but also initially less focused) than the music selected for the cd it gives a pretty good idea of what to expect from this great release.

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