3 Leafs – “Canal Smarts” – [Self Released]

Thee Opinataur   9/11/2012   12-inch, A Library

Recorded July 2010,250 limited release

Sextet -Tim Cohen Guitar, vocals (Fresh & Onlys) Chris Cones- Guitar, Diego Gonzalez -Bass (Subarachnoid Space), Anthony Petrovic -(AKA Ezeetiger), Warren Huegal -Drums (University of Errors), Josh Pollack – Guitar (Mushroom). Getting this much talent together it is not surprising this album is an absolutely blissful psychedelic trip. Side A is a 19-minute long psychedelic space jam immersed in an ethereal atmosphere. A hypnotic slow motion jam filled with blurred chords, looped bass, and FX’s voice adrift in droned out psychedelia. B1) Dense psyche rock jam opens with tight syncopated drumming while the bass throbs unsteadily with urgent propulsion. FX’d unintelligible vocals swirl with distorted reverberation along side psych guitar riffing and organ sprinkled with looped samples and plenty of sonic chaos. B2) Funky bass line opening, guitar riffing, wistful minimalistic psyches jam.

Shoup, Wally Corsano, Chris Flaherty, Paul – “Bounced Check” – [Records]

Thee Opinataur   9/11/2012   12-inch, Jazz

Recorded Live in Seattle, WA October 2005.Bounced Check is one half of a two-album collection (blank check- TYFUS).Wally Shoup-Alto Sax, Chris Corsano-Drums-Paul Flaherty- Alto/Tenor Sax. Boston Based duo Corsano and Flaherty come west to meet Shoup on his turf.Two side long plays of a classic free improve battle of west vs. east.Flaherty opens act 1 soloing, stuttering, sighing, reflecting a tired engine weary from years of battle yet determined to make another run. Shoup counters quietly from the flank secretly hoping to take advantage before Flaherty’s up to full strength. However like an experienced old soldier who may not have the quickness of his youth, he is prepared for Shoup and meets him head on with a spirited assault of his own.Corsano, deceivingly the mediator enters, however he is not here to mitigate peace, but to provoke these warriors on to their best.Shoup and Flaherty counter, retreat, counter and just when you think all will end civilly, it does not last as these two came not to make peace but unabashedly war. Corsano does his part effortlessly pushing and urging the battle on smirking all the way. These masters of noise finish bruised and battered as Corsano quietly accompanies the sun on its setting. There will be no more fighting today. Act2:Darkness turns to pre-dawn light, as both camps are abuzz shaking off the pains of yesterday’s battle.Steady and intense rues the day’s battle while each side fights bravely on. There will be no victor today, all to the delight of the observer.These experienced warriors have fought alongside as well as against each other for far too long, while all along respecting the true art of war.

Romus, Rent / Lords of Outland – “XV” – [Edgetone Records]

Thee Opinataur   9/11/2012   CD, Jazz

Commemorating the Lords of Outland’s 15 years together, a careful selection of 10 live recordings from 1994-2008 were assembled, most of them previously unreleased featuring John Tchicai, Kash Killion, James Zitro and many more. ??In addition a full length studio recording from 2009 consisting of the current crop of every changing musicians, with Rent Romus being the only constant over the years. Disc one is a fascinating chronological timeline to listen as original jazz morphs and contorts into improvisational noise. From sentimental to free jazz metal infusing multiple genres of music with the help of electronics. Constant rhythmic changes with occasional bars of melodica.Disc 2 is his current stock of improvisers CJ Borosque – no input petals, trumpet-Ray Schaeffer-6 string elec. bass-Philip Everett-drums, Autoharp, electronics. Romus is front and center most of the way on alto, soprano, c-melody sax, however each gets his/her turn to shine in own way. However what really carries this album is the Analog FX boxes of CJ Borosque. The no input design is a creation of sonic feedback & feedback sounds controlling the electrical signal with her gear. She is a unique artist as well as an accomplished “noisician”.

Smith, Wadada Leo – “Ten Freedom Summers” – [Cuneiform Records]

Thee Opinataur   6/22/2012   CD, Jazz

Recorded in Nov. 2011 Ten Freedom Summers is quite possibly Wadada Leo Smith at his artistic peak. Performing with his Golden Quartet of Smith on Trumpet, Anthony Davis ??piano, John Lindberg bass, Pheeroan akLaff and Susie Ibarra drums. In addition the nine piece Southwest Chamber Music conducted by Jeff von der Schmidt merges jazz and classical to brilliant perfection. In the works since 1977, Smith composes 19 pieces in 3 collections consisting of 1)10 years of the civil rights movement 1954-64 2) Defining Moments in America 3) What is Democracy? Inspired by Max Roach’s “Freedom Now” as well as Duke’s “Sacred Concerts”, it was actually playwright August Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle” that helped Smith architect this work. There is indeed improvisation throughout as well as composed pieces in which Smith allows notated unrestricted freedom. Smith conducts masterfully leading with his introspective muted play. There is a deep interwoven melancholic sadness, emotional rage, minimalist peacefulness, but the best spots are the contemplative silent ones as they speak louder then any high C that Smith would dare to hit on his trumpet. Smith says that he tried to compose a psychological impact of the civil rights movement in American society, yet these pieces accomplish so much more of the philosophical, social and political history on an exhaustive emotional platform. With 4 CD’s and nearly 5 hours of music, to take it all in at once is an experience everyone should do once in their life.

Music From The Film – “VI Kommer Til a Fa Deg” – [Zeromoon]

Thee Opinataur   6/6/2012   A Library, CD

Maryland twosome, Gary Young and Arthur Harrison have been creating improvisational noise together for more then two decades under many different monikers. On ‘VI Kommer Til A Fa Deg’ which is Norwegian for ‘We’re Going to Get You’ they have added Kevin Buckholdt to the mix. This is their fifth full length album as the group Music from the Film on their first release on the Zeromoon label. These 22 tracks are not easy to describe, and that is a good thing as each track twists and turns with a cacophony of improvisational noise that is uniquely original never knowing what you may hear next. These guys work in the land of bizarro and give a new definition to the term experimental improvisation. They list 32 instruments on the liner notes ranging from Pseudorandom noise sequencers, Theremin, Dulcimer, sound wands, to a series of toy noise makers and something called a Sarah Palin. This is a rather dark album which incorporates every imaginable tone, pitch and beat that you could only hear in your hellish dreams. The voices throughout are mostly poetic nonsense, much of it unintelligible yet you find your ears yearning for more of this delusional prose. These guys are incredibly unpredictable and very original with their approach to chaotic sounds.

Actress – “R.I.P.” – [Honest Jon’s]

Thee Opinataur   6/6/2012   A Library, CD

DJ/Producer Darren Cunningham is out of South London and has been painstaking in creating otherworldly beats. Preparation for this album consisted of indulging in Milton and smoking lots of weed. R.I.P. in its entirety will take the listener on a euphoric journey they will never regret only if they are willing to expand their 4/4 techno mind. Actress is a masterful manipulator of sound and space and doesnt take any shortcuts as his unadulterated artistry shines through. Tracks 1-3 are beatless and filled with floating synth, fuzzy ambience, punctuated with tinkling water drops in an uncoordinated structure. Not until track 4 can you begin to dance through a minimalistic foggy rhythm. Track 8-digital chops, unsteady looped buzzing with distorted distant bass. Track 9 churning fuzzed bass opening peppered with a spacey dissonance. Track 10 night gives way to pre-dawn as predator lurks in slow mo lo-fi drunkenness. Tracks11-12 journey across a purgatorial landscape. Track 13 & 15- best dance beats, extraterrestrial techno.

PA.RTS – “Greatest Hiss” – [Bombay Cove]

Thee Opinataur   5/16/2012   7-inch, A Library

Pressed on green marble swirl, this compilation of 5 short but dense tracks is compiled from cassettes put out since 2007 in limited release. PA.RTS =Pat.Robert.Robert, the three guys responsible for ‘Greatest Hiss’ packages home-built electronics, treated bass guitar, effects boxes, loops and much more.Thick blackish fog, steely knives slicing through the underworld.Haunting organ drone carries through all tracks with periodic pops, loops, feedback, repetitious bass undertones, dark inaudible chants, grinding warped tones. Their is a strange and frightening uneasiness to all of this, however with the tracks being much too short, it’s like a haunted house at Knott’s Scary Farm; your in, your out and on to the next.

For Whom The Cowbell Tolls [coll] – [Electric Cowbell]

Thee Opinataur   5/16/2012   A Library, CD

This is the second compilation of 45s’ that Brooklyn based artist run Electric Cowbell Records has released following there 2011 compilation 101 Things to do in Bongolia. Some usual suspects return for the 2012 edition including Debo Band, Spanglish Fly, Kharia Arby. Karthala 72 starts things off with some psychedelic African grooves straight out of 1972. Go back further a few more years to melt in some Latin Boogaloo with Spanglish Fly keeping it fresh with remixes by Kill Emil & The Audible Doctor. The Polyrhythmics ‘Pink Wasabi’ reflects influence by Fela Kuti. There is nothing to skip on this compilation, from Os Magrelos vintage Bossa Nova, classic Malian from Cheick Hamala Diabete, Khaira Arby & Sway Machinery. Debo Band’s ‘Gedawo is Ethio Funk heavy dub remixed masterfully by Kiddid. Even NO! BS Brass’s version of A-Ha’s cheesy ‘Take on Me’ is well worth the listen. Little Shalima’s two tracks are simply fun, soulful and funky. Super Hi-Fi’s trombone fueled ‘Single Payer’s Victor Rice remix closes things off on a high note. Electric Cowbell Records seems to have a knack for producing artists who relish in taking on great sounds of the past and creating something fresh for the next generations.

Coltrane, Alice – “Transfiguration” – [Warner Bros.]

Thee Opinataur   5/9/2012   12-inch, A Library

Recorded at Shoenberg Hall, UCLA in 1978, this double 12″ Album features Alice Coltrane on Piano and organ, Reggie Workman, Bass and Roy Haynes on drums. Quoting Alice Coltrane, Transfiguration transforms every musical statement from a mere expression of one’s mental prowess and music capabilities in an offering of love to God. This opening track sets the tone for the rest of the album as she manipulates the keys on her Wurlitzer into an intriguing and very listenable sound definitely inspired by her immersion into East Indian Spirituality. A2 ‘One for the Father’ is dedicated to her late husband John with sweet, passionate and personable piano play evoking her deep love. B1 ‘Prema’ The classically trained Coltrane evokes hints of Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky in this beautiful lush reflective piece accompanied by a string orchestra which was added post production. B2 ‘Affinity’ she is back on organ with an improvisational yet a repetitive often tone. C2 ‘Leo’ part 1 by far begins the highlight and dramatic conclusion to this concert. Workman manipulates his bass into eastern influenced sounds you would swear he was playing an oud or sitar at times during his extended solo. Leo continues in part 2 on D1 with drummer Roy Haynes drum solo equally as masterful as Workman’s implementing his full arsenal for a full 5 minutes. The remainder is filled with Coltrane’s frenetic organ play leaving no key black nor white untouched and maximizing each tone. All three are at their finest here in this finale with never a moment of rest, the momentum continuing for what seems like an eternity and climaxing in a satisfying achievement all their own. With all due respect to John Coltrane’s Leo, this version was something brand new and fresh which I’m certain he would have approved.

Forward Energy – “Awakening, The” – [Edgetone Records]

Thee Opinataur   5/2/2012   CD, Jazz

Released in March 2012. Forward Energy has been pumping out Album on Edgetone for more then a decade now and while each of these has featured a number of fine musicians, the current members mesh together superbly and are at the top of their game. Consisting of founder Jim Ryan on flute/sax/trumpet, Rent Romus Alto/Tenor/C-Soprano, Scott Looney, piano, Eric Marshall Double Bass and Tim Orr, Percussion. The Awaking is Free Jazz at its finest, however listen closely and you will hear subtle undertones of Be-Bop especially from Romus who spend time studying with Stan Getz. Everyone has chance to introduce and establish themselves in the Opening with Ryan & Romus leading the way on sax. The awaking is sweet pretty gentle style with Ryan’s flute and Looney plucking strings. It’s on track #3 Float and Jolt that takes you from quiet lulling to blasting you to full attention, then taking you on an emotional roller coaster ride before closing on an all out blitz. Track #4 Lost Leprechaun is indeed lost in back alley of nourish filth, wanting for his sunny meadow. #5 Freestyle is just that, with all 5 taking their turns to shine. Best of these tracks is #8 talk-talk with Ryan and Romus going at it with Looney and Marshall urging them on culminating in a final duel, a solemn end. #10 WhataBout ThaBlues? several measures resonate melodically, yet are fragmented with bangs, squawks, blats and crashes then fades to black.

Behold The Profit – “Behold The Profit” – [lowatt]

Thee Opinataur   4/18/2012   CD, Hip Hop

Greg Reynaud is Behold the Profit and is also known as “Thieves” in a previous life highlighted by his 2004 hit EP, “You Hold the World Like a Gun”. This is his first release under his current moniker and is eerily similar to “Thieves”. Composed of six dense tracks of trip hop, stutter, fuzz and distortion he doesn’t waste time and effort with monotonous repetitive beats as filler. He has taken great care in choosing samples which blend well his deep tight percussive beats. If you like slow mellow, dreamy, hallucinogenic grooves check out tracks 1 & 5. Track 4 is the heart of this EP highlighted with deep tight stuttering trips. Only thing disappointing with these six tracks of 20 minutes is they are over far too soon and leave you wanting more. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for his next compilation of deep dirty beats.




Blonk, Jaap – “Flux De Bouche” – [Staalplaat]

Thee Opinataur   4/4/2012   CD, Jazz

Avant Garde sound poet Jaap Blonk covers everything from early Dadaists’ such as Hugo Ball to American minimalist poets including Robert Wilson, in addition to his own pieces. Blonk’s vocals are fascinating whether he is performing in his native Dutch, English, or some other fantasy language. Blonk’s voice box is a remarkable sound instrument in its true raw form. His vocal acrobats are featured in full spectrum which range from pulsating vibrato and sharp staccato to sweet legatos’. The first track is a Hugo Ball poem ‘Sea Horses &Flying Fishes’ and is the very first sound poem Blonk ever recited. Robert Wilson’s ‘DINA SORE’ prose is performed intimately and effortlessly. Highlighting this compilation are Blonk’s first two phonetic studies; ‘Rhotic’ which is his investigation of the “R” and ‘Frictional’, the liner notes for both are visually instructive to follow along with. The final track ‘Brullt’ by Tristan Tzara who’s meaning is “roar” or “scream” is 9 minutes of extreme angst, listener beware who suffers anticipatory anxiety.

Yeh, C. Spencer / Flaherty, Paul / Kelley, Greg – “New York Nuts & Boston Beans” – [Important Records]

Thee Opinataur   3/21/2012   CD, Jazz

Live Recording from 2007 in Brooklyn N.Y. and Boston, MA. Five Untitled tracks. Tracks 1&2 consist of improvisational noise with Yeh on violin and Flaherty on Tenor Sax angrily battling back and forth with each forcefully expressing their own opinions. Yeh is impressive vocalizing scattered, aggressive gibberish while pleading with Flaherty. Both tone it down for a while, yet end where they started in wild abrasive noise highlighted by Yeh’s screeching violin. Tracks 4&5 bring in noise trumpet extraordinaire Greg Kelley. These tracks are more composed consisting of?? breathy drone?? from Kelley, lyrical notes from Flaherty’s Alto Sax and more voice instrumentation from Yeh. These three seasoned improvisors’ create chaotically beautiful noise together.


Elektriktus – “Electronic Mind Waves” – [Ictus]

Thee Opinataur   3/14/2012   A Library, CD

Originally released in 1976 on 12″ vinyl, remastered and re-released in 2011, Electronic Mind Waves is Elektriktus’s only album. Elektruktus is actually a pseudonym for the accomplished percussionist and composer Andrea Centazza. The name is a melding of his first experimentation with electronic cosmic kraut-rock and the name of his avant garde-jazz trio ‘Ictus’. This entire compilation was recorded with a TEAC 4-track and a couple of keyboards in Centazzo’s private country studio. The 8 tracks on this album are the recording of a journey which takes off with ‘Frequency Departure:Flying at Daybreak and concludes with ‘Frequencer Arrival’. On this journey you will be awakened to synth dominated chimes with support from subtle cymbal and gong. Along the way with each keyboard dominated wave the listener is treated to a cosmic journey time warp that pleases the senses and quietly keeps a meditative trance throughout. The best of this journey is track 7-‘Flying at Sunset’ as you truly can feel your entire being quietly alone in the fading burnt atmosphere. – Thee Opinator

Shipp, Matthew – “Elastic Aspects” – [Thirsty Ear Recordings]

Thee Opinataur   2/29/2012   CD, Jazz

Studio recording from July 2011, Trio – Matthew Shipp: Michael Bisio: Bass, Whit Dickey:drums. The masterful jazz pianist Matthew Shipp has covered nearly three decades of brilliant works, however he is always composing something we have not yet heard before to stimulate our senses. While Shipp is in fine form throughout, he brilliantly waits his time to allow bassist Michael Bisio to set the tone for us in opening track Alternative Aspects with spiritual moanful bowing. By the time all three play together in track 3, Psychic Counterpoint, we are transfixed and compelled to see where they will take us next. And just when you think you know where you are going, you are abruptly pulled back again and again, especially on track 9 Rainforest where once again Bisio shines with suggestive droning bow play to compel the listener forward on this journey. The album is correctly titled as the last 2 tracks build beautifully together to a climatic end in which we are grateful we came along for this wild ride. A highly improvisational compilation Shipp teases throughout with bright melodic licks only to take us to his next bending pathway which is always a delightful surprise. The brilliant relationship of these three musicians to his own instrument and to each other is an incredible harmonious feat.

Sneakers – “Children Into People” – [Hungry Mother]

Thee Opinataur   2/27/2012   7-inch, A Library

Produced in 2009, this 7″EP is one of the first releases from the young label Permanent Records Chicago. It is a side project from two members of the Chicago based progressive/noise group Cave. This brand of Sneakers will never be confused with the 70s power pop band and most assuredly nothing in common with the DePeche Mode tribute band of the same name.

These six short tracks are collectively repetitive lo-fi punk jams. Most of the songs contain reverb enhanced , echoed vocals that have a washed out wailing effect. Almost all vocals are inaudible except for B5 I Am the Disease

Each track possesses similar efficient catchy driving riffs and progress nicely throughout. While this 7″ was cut to play at 33rpm, when played at 45rpm it will take you back to the glorious garage punk days of late 70s.

All 6 tracks recommended, however the following are the highlights of the this EP

A2 Chicks Freaked Out

B2 I Am the Disease

B3 Nudes

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