May 24, 2013
If free jazz power trio The Thing signed to the German techno label Kompakt, they’d probably sound something like Kriget. The Swedish band’s new album, Dystopico, is a trance-inducing effort that was created entirely with sax, bass and drums, but which somehow sounds like synth-driven electronic music.
Here’s the video for their latest single, “Sleeping With Buddha”:
Dystopico will be out in July.
May 17, 2013
Brooklyn Babylon (New Amsterdam)
by Steve Hicken
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society made an impressive debut with Infernal Machines in 2009. Machines features tightly-written and expansively-played charts with memorable melodies and rich harmonies—”Phobos,” the opening track, is a favorite of mine.
The music on the Society’s new disc, Brooklyn Babylon, began life as the musical component of a multimedia celebration of the eponymous borough. The disc consists of 17 sections, some only a minute or so long, others over five minutes. Argue’s compositions are eclectic, partaking of a wide variety of styles and techniques, including melodies that sound like ethnic street music, acid guitar solos, and post-minimalist moves that are very much at home on the New Amsterdam label.
As a former trombonist, I have to admit that Ryan Keberle‘s work in the first interlude (“Infuse”) is a highlight of the record for me. What strikes me most on both this program and Infernal Machines is Argue’s feel for big band orchestration. When he is after luxurious harmonic progressions, the blend of the instruments is spectacular, and that’s not as easy to do as it may sound. At other times, the colors are as distinct as they can be. If you are a fan of big band jazz and want to see it flourish, you need this disc.
Read a 2010 interview with Argue
Stream the whole album on Bandcamp:
May 13, 2013
Burning Ambulance issue 6 is available now. This issue features a cover story on trumpeter Arve Henriksen, analyzing his solo career and his work with Supersilent; interviews with sound artist Reto Mäder (RM74, Ural Umbo, Sum of R), Bloody Panda frontwoman turned solo artist Yoshiko Ohara, Dutch grindcore/jazz sax-drums duo Dead Neanderthals, Robert Hampson (of the recently reunited Loop, Main, and sometimes Godflesh) and French black metal duo Spektr; a profile of Brazilian saxophonist and painter Ivo Perelman; an in-depth essay on the life and work of Plugz, Cruzados and Tito & Tarantula leader Tito Larriva; and a history of 1970s blaxploitation horror films. Contributing writers include Clifford Allen, MacDara Conroy, Phil Dyess-Nugent, Leonard Nevarez, and Leonard Pierce.
As always, it’s available in multiple formats:
Print edition – $10
Ebook edition – $5
Kindle edition – $3
If you’ve missed any of the previous five issues, you can get them all from our Buy Burning Ambulance page. Thank you for your support!