DISKAHOLICS ANONYMOUS TRIO: Diskaholics Anonymous Trio (Smalltown Superjazzz)


Posted on Nov 10th 2011 01:36 am

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Diskaholics Anonymous Trio: Diskaholics Anonymous Trio

Diskaholics Anonymous Trio
Smalltown Superjazzz 2011
03 Tracks. 66mins26secs

 Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

Mats Gustafsson, Jim O’Rourke, Thurston Moore; three names that certainly need no introduction. Three musicians whose paths have crossed many times over the years. Three musicians with hugely impressive CVs. Three musicians who have probably clocked more recording time between them than most of their contemporaries, in all sorts of configurations and under all sorts of circumstances. Three musicians who, ten years ago, locked themselves in a room and did what they do best, improvise, Gustafsson on sax, O’Rourke on laptop and synth, Moore on guitar. The result, released as the Diskaholics Anonymous Trio, came out on Crazy Wisdom, the now defunct imprint once co-founded by Gustafsson. The trio went on to release a second album, Weapons Of Ass Destruction, five years later on Gustafsson’s semi-permanent home of Smalltown Superjazzz, but, following the demise of Crazy Wisdom, shortly after the release of the trio’s debut, this first opus , had, until its re-edition on Smalltown Superjazzz, been long out of print.

Counting just three lengthy improvisations, this album is predictably intense and complex, torn between Gustafsson’s epic gusts of sax, Moore’s incisive guitar sections, O’Rourke’s treatments and the trio’s exploration of inertia. Three Collections Of Bird Notes is introduced by overlaid guitar loops which become progressively grittier as the sax kicks in, but this first burst of extreme energy is cut right down six minutes in to open up on a much more subtle and peaceful moment. Gustafsson’s presence is barely noticeable as he blows softly in his instrument without trying to make any sound come out of it whilst Moore lays out sparse textures, but tension rises once again, channeled, like before, between guitar and sax as distortions fuzz from all sides. As the cloud of noise dissipates, only fragments of processed distortion as left sizzling.

Such high contrast between acutely scant and introspective passages and moments of much more extreme intensity are only found briefly toward the end of Yellow Label Silence, as Gustafsson’s sax finally erupts, relieving the tension that had accumulated over the course of the preceding track and the two third of this one. Before that though, the trio operate at such miniature level, especially on Totally Gump (Gump Completist), that nothing but the greatest level of attention can reveal these pieces’ most remote parts. It takes some time for Totally Gump (Gump Completist) to gain even a hint of momentum as guitar and sax launch tentative outlines of motifs which never materialise into anything concrete, but it is O’Rourke who finally sets some forward motion by establishing loops of processed sax. Even then, Gustafsson is in particularly reflective mood here as he digs deep into the lower register of his instrument as O’Rourke and Moore weave a loose drone in the back. Things take a more angular turn in the second half, as squiggly electronics as subjected to a persistent hammering.

Disjointed electronics are also scattered on much of the first half of Yellow Label Silence, as O’Rourke treads with extreme care around enclaves of complete silence. Later on, it is Gustafsson’s turn, then Moore’s, to do the same, as if they could only cross this barren ground one at a time. As they are finally reunited, the pressure becomes increasingly more noticeable, leading to a short but intense explosion of strident sax, saturated guitar and noise drone.

This record is a much more contrasted offering than its follow-up, yet it is also a much introspective piece of work, not subjected to the same incisive élans of noise. This re-issue, likely to bring this work to many for the first time, is not only welcome, but it proves, on repeat listen, totally essential.


Smalltown Superjazzz
Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

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