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Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Naked Future - Gigantomachia (ESP, 2009) ****

This is an album to hate or to love. It is hard, with rythmic and tonal explorations that are far removed from jazz, but it is at the same time extremely pure, without mannerisms, without any felt need to please, but then in the good sense, with four musicians trying to create something meaningful, something new. The band consists of Arrington de Dionyso on bass clarinet and contralto clarinet, Thollem McDonas on piano, John Niekrasz on drums, and Greg Skloff on bass. The music is fierce at times, with all four musicians playing up a storm, but not always, and even in the slower parts, the intensity, the energy and the fire remain intact. The title, "Gigantomachia", refers to the battle of the gods from the old Greek mythology, between the Olympians and the Giants. The music reflects this ferocity, deconstruction and creative destruction are certainly dominating the music. To quote the Greek poet Hesiod on the battle of the gods : "The boundless sea rang terribly around, and the earth crashed loudly: wide Heaven was shaken and groaned, and high Olympus reeled from its foundation under the charge of the undying gods", a few lines which describe the music quite well. The titles of the album are a delight by themselves :
"We Binge on a Bloodthirsty God",
"We Boil the Raven's Skull Into Gold",
"We Engage the Monstrous With Our Mirrors",
"We Fly Beneath and Above the Flux",
"We Sleep in a Rabbit Hole".
No doubt about it, these guys are not taking us for a stroll in the park, but they take us deep into primal musical experience of sounds clashing with one another, driven by pure energy, engaging in wild interactions. The music is surely not for the faint of heart, but the coherence of the approach, the depth and wealth of the interactions open up possibilities for music, and offering the listener a quite unique listening experience.

Listen to an excerpt from "We Boil The Raven's Skull Into Gold"

Buy or download from ESP.

© stef