I’m no authority on Free-Jazz, and though I enjoy listening, I’ve never deigned to write about it. It contains many elements, and being improvisational in nature, is wide open to interpretation, so do take a listen and explore these worlds from your perspective, recieve your own impressions.
Dialectical Imagination are a duo that consists of Eli Wallace and Rob Pumpelly. Rob also runs the label Atma Nadi and has studied under some notable artists such as Pauline Oliveros and Fred Frith while at Mills College. Eli has an MM in Jazz Composition from The New England Music Conservatory in Boston. He has also performed at the Outsound New Music Summit. Both have ties to the Bay Area, Rob being located in Oakland and Eli having grown up in El Cerrito. They have also both performed with Bay Area Free Jazzer Rent Romus.
The duo were kind enough to send me a hard copy of the latest release “The Angel and The Brute Sing Songs of Wrath” which comes as a cleverly designed usb stick housed in a cassette shell. The instrumentation consists of piano and drums/percussion. The music is top notch and expertly executed, there is obvious musicianship in this. Themes drift from chaotic and driving frenetic rhythms, and dissonance, to light and ethereal piano guided interludes. Both musicians take turns to shine while maintaining a musical dialog. This would fit right in with any of the Free-jazz or ‘Black Classical’ music of that era. Highly enjoyable and not too challenging for those who might normally be put off by this sort of abstractness, there is an inherent flow to this.
As I reported back in July, I’ve been handling bass for SF heavy psych metal band Turn Me On Dead Man, who recently signed to Heavy Psych Sounds out of Italy. Since then the album has been pressed up and is ready to ship! There are black and transparent splatter available. Purchase links are HERE and check out this stellar review via The Obelisk.
STREAM THE ALBUM VIA BANDCAMP
Also in the works is a European tour that is slated to kick off in Feb 2018, more details as that develops.
My first show with these guy will be November 17th at Coopers in Nevada City.
One final bit of business to announce here is our Patreon campaign. In order to keep up on gear maintenance, rehearsal rent, transportation and other incidental things that keep a band afloat, we need to solicit the help of our friends, fans and family. We hate to do it but the days of major labels floating developing artists with bloated budgets are long over, we do this on our own and with the support of an Independent label. That being said, independent labels like Heavy Psych are essential to our growth, and they facilitate our being able to gain exposure in different markets, but they are not backed by major label money, and we still have to support a lot of what we do in the day to day of the band. Check out the Patreon and pitch in if you can, there will be exclusive content and future offers on merch etc. for patrons of our campaign. You will be rewarded!
There were modular rigs as well as custom instruments, though I suppose the nature of modular is also largely customizable. Specifically, outside there were acoustic instruments presented by Pet the Tiger. They had a pretty sizable Kalimba and this giant set up (a metallophone) with metallic plates and a lovely low tone produced by the largest plate. We had an impromptu jam on that and I sampled a bit of it for fun, maybe I’ll use some in a future collage.
There was some visual stuff
I brought a few things including a Mother 32, Moogerfooger MF104M Delay, Tascam 414 cassette 4 track, ipad with various sound apps. Easily the most popular item was the Monoscillatron which I’ve posted about before on Youtube
By total coincidence my friends at Wondersound Industries just released The Monoscillatron for purchase at Reverb.com with a special that runs from today July 28th until July 31st!
Hear it in action in the video below, as well as a few other sounds from my table. I also did a brief walkthrough. For more coverage visit Catsynth
Just the other day I was talking with my wife about certain aspects of the old music scene we experienced in our youth (circa late 80’s-early 90’s) she on the West Coast (LA area) and me in Buffalo in the heart of the East Coast Hardcore scene. Growing up in LA she got to experience some of the best years of the LA punk scene as it was then and I also got to catch some of the tail end of the early HC scene on the East Coast just as it was becoming overrun with jocks and squares curious about all the energy and noise and tattoos and the punks with the funny colored hair etc. I came across this cd at work the other day and it just illustrates the time perfectly (1993) 2 years after The Year that Punk Broke
This was from a Biohazard cd and it was one of the bands we had just been talking about. I remember when every show I went to after a certain period was dominated by these line-ups of aggro, testosterone driven muscle guys with guitars. I was 18-19 at the time and it was glaringly obvious that there was very little room for girls in this scene and that was a drag. The Riot Girl movement was underway by then but that was also an aggro and exclusive sort of subscene that didn’t fully encompass or embrace all women in indy/punk or the Hardcore movement unless they were openly a part of it. Spitboy were a perfect example of this.
Anyway, I remember being pretty disillusioned around this time about all of it, by 1993 I had pretty much stopped going to shows for fear of being beat up by Nazi’s who by then had infltrated much of the scene and mostly went to shows to start shit. A while before this time I started sneaking into the 21 and over ‘New Wave and Goth-Industrial’ club and experiencing different more interesting music and a much more gender balanced world where I could meet and socialize with girls for once! This was also a more mature scene without all of the BS of the all ages shows. The shock value of the punk stuff by then had worn out and the homogenization of alternative ‘culture’ had begun, so to get into bands with names like Christian Death and Alien Sex Fiend was quite appealing as it put off even the most outwardly ‘alternative’ people around at the time…
I remember one day driving around with a good friend when he popped in a mixtape, one of the things we loved most was driving around listening to cleverly curated tapes made from our recent record purchases. At some point he goes ‘check this out’ and 50 Ft Queenie comes on the car stereo and in my mind put a stake in the heart of the male dominated alternative music world as it was in 93′. It was fast and aggressive and lo-fi but still somehow feminine and sexy and if it wasn’t on Island would have been an indie staple. Either way, for a track like that to make it above ground added much needed color to the sterile post-Nirvanabe era of music saturating the college radio stations at the time. It was, for me, a much needed salve for the previous few years of my disappointment in the scene. PJ was weird and interesting and wrote short catchy songs with odd arrangements that stuck in your head, she was embraced by a wide array of people, even if it took some time.
24 years after initially hearing that song I finally got to see her live with my wife. Her set was mostly new material which I haven’t fully explored yet, so it was pleasant but unfamiliar. She had a very full band including Mick Harvey (The Bad Seeds) 2 drummers and there was quite a bit of instrument switching as everyone up there was a multi-instrumentalist of some sort. The sound at The newly remodeled Masonic in SF was excellent and we were in the balcony as opposed to the floor which was where we saw Diamanda Galas from a few weeks prior (she also sounded great!). We enjoyed the new stuff but she really made it worth it by playing ’50 Ft. Queenie’ ‘To Bring You My Love’ and my wife’s fave “Down By the Water”.