Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ahluechatistas - Of the Body Prone

Of the Body Prone
(2009, Tzadik)
RIYL = Battles, Hella, Lightning Bolt

Ahluechatistas are veteran musicians, Of The Body Prone being their fifth full length (at my count). That can be a good thing and a bad thing. The good, of course, is experience, potentially producing a tighter band with tighter songs and better skills. For many bands, longevity also means reaching a plateau in terms of originality and then a slow decline. Well, if the latter is at all true of Ahluechatistas (this is the first record I’ve listened to), then their first couple of albums must’ve been, out-and-out, the best instrumental rock albums ever. Somehow, though, I doubt that Ahluechatistas fall into that latter category. I mean, I’m sure their earlier records are good (something I’ll find out more about in the very near future), Of The Body Prone is just too superb to qualify as a decline. The band, a trio, are mathematical noise jazz stylists of the highest caliber. I know I already covered some free-jazz-noise-rock with OffOnOff (also a trio), but this is from a whole ‘nother angle. Ahluechatistas are less free flowing in their audio muggings. Everything feels a bit more calculated, even songlike, though with plenty of room for a million drum fills and a bajillion forays into boisterous stringed menace. Think Battles with a bit more grit and you’re getting closer. Of the Body Prone opens up with a propulsive 8+ minute build that provides position from which the rest of the album can amply dive, crushing everything in its path. The percussion is also, super inventive. Perhaps some of the most inventive I’ve heard this side of Ches Smith. There are blessed moments of melodic reprieve scattered throughout as well, to tempter and tame any chance that a listener might go insane trying to conjure the mental power necessary to soak everything in from Of the Body Prone. In fact, that is part of why this album is so successful, everything is paced perfectly. Ahluechatistas never try to fry your brain. However, this does make me consider the term Intelligent Rock Music (a nod to IDM, no? You’re right. I’m sorry.). Super proggy and rockin’, Of the Body Prone is a phenomenal instrumental free rock album with oceans of depth in every track.


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