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Album Review

JU / Moster, Kjetil – “JU Meets Moster” – [Rare Noise Records]

Thurston Hunger   5/6/2015   A Library, CD

The title sets one tone, of course I kept mis-reading it as
“JU Meets Monster” (apologies to Kjetil). And maybe the album
cover influenced that (great photo from someone’s nightmare).
Then the lead-off track leads with a strong swing, Moster’s
sax swirl rising over stumble and splash drums from Andras
Halmos. Is this going to be an Albert Ayler revival? But
then at 2:05 some gentle blows to the midsection landed by
Erno Hock on electric, not acoustic, bass and a little
distorted chomping from Adam Meszaros on guitar, their
insistent two-note riff pulls Moster and at 3:33 Meszaros
and Moster are off and flying on Hendrix like wings.
Moster sits and Meszaros ignites on what was once molten
heavy metal. Next, “Bhajan” tiptoes around a smoky parapet
before going for stoner rock, but turns out of that with
some brittle guitar as a bed to Moster tooting an almost
old school R&B solo in hyperdive. “Morze” a kind of martian
western, lonely sax cowpoke slowpoking at the end with
reverb echoes. :Hassasin” forceful from the jump, kinda
Balkan, with that cool weirdness that Kletka Red used to
uncover. By now the idea that this is a jazz album is gone,
and this is not stuck in some frozen fusion wasteland
where proficiency kills spirit. “KJU” is an oddball
short with a sick robot and a sad clarinet. The CD then
ends on the “One” another example of this project changing
directions creatively. It starts out in a sort of soundtrack
meditation, the hero/villain crumpled near death in some
deserted ravine, but electronic washes pulse in and revive
a sort of psych drifter for a few bars, but then heads
out with a sludgy grind of guitars and drums sticky with
Moster’s sax dirty and deep. Sure to offend rock and jazz
purists and delight the rest of us.
-Thurston Hunger

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