Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Swami LatePlate - DoomJazz (Veal Records, 2007) ****½

As its title and the cover suggest, the music on this album is dark, gloomy, depressing, but more than that, it is minimalistic, repetitive, slow and all about style. Jamie Saft plays piano and bass and Bobby Previte drums, two musicians who no longer need any introduction, and what they're doing here is to move away from conventions and create their own pretty unique musical universe. The amazing thing about this album is the absolute darkness, despair and sense of fatality they conjure up with just these instruments, without any electronics or special effects : just piano, bass and drums. And it sounds like the soundtrack of a psycho-thriller from beginning to end, never once releasing the tension, never once lighting a light, never once opening the possibility of even a tiny speck of hope. In that sense, it is truly unique and exceptional, something you've never heard before, attractive on the surface, frightening in its totality. But this unbelievable musical focus is also a dead end. You can do this on one album, and push it to the extreme, as they do here, with little but subtle variations, yet this also closes any perspective of a sequel that could add anything more. Yet that's irrelevant when you listen to the exceptional power of these two musicians, not in terms of instrumental pyrotechnics, but in terms of musical effect. Saft can play very sparse piano notes over a repetitive bass line, while Previte plays the most unbelievably "right" things on his kit, accentuating, emphasizing, changing speed and touch, creating drama and tension almost on his own. This is without a doubt one of the most unusual piano trios in a long time, and a record that definitely deserves wider attention, and yes, why not among metal fans ...


  1. I dig this album, too. I got it at the same time as Whoopie Pie's Sweet... that one's good, too... but I REALLY dug the Doom Jazz disc...

  2. Per, three more from Jamie Saft's record label (Veal)...

    THE BETA POPES - White Hate (Veal 03; USA) Skerik - vocals & saxophone, Jamie Saft - guitar, Bobby Previte - drums. Crushing studio debut from the Brooklyn Metal Underground!

    THE BETA POPES - Live Hate (Veal 04; USA) Skerik - vocals & saxophone, Jamie Saft - guitar, Bobby Previte - drums. 60 minutes of live Pain from the Subtone, UK.

    KALASHNIKOV - Bang! Bang! (Funhole/Veal 05; USA) Kalashnikov is: Mike Pride - drumset & vocals, Jamie Saft - bass, minimoog, and circuits. 154 minutes of aggro-noise-metal!


  3. whoa! heard some of it on myspace, and this kinda stuff is right up my alley. nice, dense atmosphere, really dark

  4. Great record... Not quite as unique as Stef suggests ("Bohren & Der Club of Gore" do quite similar stuff since the early 90s), but still rare to find such music.


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