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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Peter Evans & Nate Wooley - High Society (Carrier Records, 2011) *****

By Joe Higham

Being a musician and playing a wide variety of music means that my family (kids and wife) are used to hearing wild sounds emanating from the hi-fi from time to time. But in certain cases I realise that maybe some music is not for wholesale consumption, and this .... is one of them! It's almost like a dream come true for a horn player (in this case trumpets) to be able to sound like Jimi Hendrix playing with feedback, however, it's more difficult to set fire to your trumpet, even with lighter fuel, you can hear Wooley and Evans had great fun making this recording. 'High Society' is as fascinating as it is unforgiving, there's no way out and no reference points to the trumpet as we know it. If you've heard Nate Wooley's Trumpet/Amplifier record then you'll already know how Wooley's starting to develop his style using this set up, here we have both Peter Evans and Nate Wooley blowing hot and cold through their trumpet/amplifier set ups.

It's almost impossible to give musical images for these tracks. Tracks such as I (track 3) make you wonder if the microphone is inside a turbine in a rocket engine, or is that the sound of something out in the desert somewhere? The two horn players use flutter tonguing, blowing, sucking, singing, spitting, banging the pistons, hitting the trumpet, it's all there. The fourth track LXVII starts like two wild animals in a fight, there are growls and screams, rattling, industrial crashes and explosions, music that's not for the faint hearted. However each track is so fascinating that you find yourself absorbed by the sounds as they change throughout each piece, each idea worked on and pushed to it's extreme and obvious conclusion. The sixth track XC is a fascinating piece as .. shock horror .. you get to hear a real muted trumpet sound as it's starting point. The track develops over 13 plus minutes into a real tour de force of sounds, feedback, screams, singing and real trumpet sounds, never dull moment.

Finally I should say I was surprised at how much I enjoyed listening to this one, and for something that is rather abstract. The music which although very intense is (I found) always interesting to come back to and I'm intrigued to see how they'll develop and follow up wonderful recording. I can only finish with a often used phrase from our chief critic and editor Stef ......... Highly Recommended.

Tags for this music could be - the wind, the sea, the washing machine, car engines, radio interference, food blenders, vacuum cleaners and the list goes on!

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Live at The Zebulon in August 2011.