Talibam! / Wasteland Jazz Unit
Ecstatic Jazz Duos
(10.2008, Thor’s Rubber Hammer)
File Under = Jazz with a healthy dose of noise
The folks over at Thor’s Rubber Hammer (home of the recently highlighted Chartreuse debut) have just released the first split LP in their inspired 3-part Ecstatic Jazz Duos series. The series already boasts an impressive line up for the remaining two installations in the series but I can’t imagine that those LPs could do much to eclipse what we’ve been blessed with here from Talibam! and Wasteland Jazz Unit. Let’s start with who I’m familiar. Talibam! (one of very few bands who have earned their mandatory exclamation mark) is America’s very own free-jazz/noise-rock terrorists. Bursting onto the seen fairly recently, Talibam! has secured a nod of reliability through a slew of maddening releases mostly put out on CDr. In the world of free form prog and jazz, reliability is key. With the ranks of improvisation swelling, it is hard not to get suckered into some second rate jam session pitched as some new hipster salvation. Fortunately, Talibam! is the real deal. Coupling inhuman drum schizophrenia (a requirement for successful free jazz in my book) and synthesized electronic buffoonery, this drum n’ keys duo plows through 18+ minutes of manipulated prog rock lunacy. The piece constantly evolves into various contortions of noise addled madness that even breaks away momentarily at about the midway point to introduce vocals to the mix with some type of alternate reality rap. Yeah, it’s definitely out there and, yes, it’s definitely good. On the flip, I was happy to discover my new best friends, Wasteland Jazz Unit. This duo leans much farther into noise territory with two extended jams that reach just past eight minutes. Both are experiments in audio brutality. Using a saxophone and clarinet to unrecognizable ends, Wasteland Jazz Unit produces an abrasive aural commotion that sounds a little bit like a batch of Axolotl tracks layered on top of each other and then pounded together with a jackhammer. It really is a beautiful destruction (emphasis on the destruction). Yep, with two more records left to go in the series, it is going to be hard to top the level ridiculously enjoyable confusion the two duos have served up.
Talibam! on Myspace
Wasteland Jazz Unit on Myspace