Some New Exploratory Hardness

Battles are on a lot of lips these days. After an LP which served to compile their EPs, this one, "Mirrored", is their first proper album. Math rock, utilizes technology, ex-Don Caballero (guitarist Ian Williams) , yada yada. It's intricacies are, like the others in this post, best enjoyed when the album is played as a whole. I don't want words to get in the way of your enjoyment of one of the best new things around:

Buy it at their label Warp Records, for several dollars cheaper than anywhere else (ten bucks) and with an exclusive poster, or at iTunes, or on mp3 or flac at Bleep (with exclusive art for each track).

Battles drummer John Stanier (ex-Helmet) also pounds the skins for Tomahawk, which also features Mike Patton (Faith No More/Mr. Bungle/Fantomas) on vocals/keyboards/samples and Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard/Hank Williams III) playing guitar. It was Denison becoming disenchanted with Native American music he heard on reservations that led to his research for this new album, "Anonymous", that is high on both concept and execution. It is interpretations of authentic turn-of-the-century Native American songs he found transcribed, and it's unlikely the writers would have imagined them ending up like this, though I think they'd be pleased:

Patton's Ipecac Records links to Amazon, or buy on iTunes.

And to make the final connection, Trevor Dunn, who plays bass alongside Patton in Mr. Bungle and Fantomas, plays bass on Marc Ribot's newest, called "Asmodeus: Book of Angels, Vol. 7". John Zorn has a hand in this, too, and drummer G. Calvin Weston, who played with free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman. Reviewers I've read are drooling over this one, calling it one of Ribot's most intense and best ever, the copy and paste text compares Hendrix and Sonny Sharrock. And yes, the music is as good as the name-dropping:

Buy from lala.com for only about ten bucks

And if you haven't heard the late Sonny Sharrock (although you probably did while watching "Space Ghost Coast To Coast" and didn't realize it was him), this is the song that sealed my love upon first listen many years ago, on his essential album "Ask the Ages". It also led me to explore the work of saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, who only played alongside John Coltrane, who only is now worshipped by some as God in a church dedicated to him. Praise be. Now let's listen to the Book of Sonny, Final Chapter, Verse 1:

Don't miss the peak of this song around 2:30 in, where Pharoah's sax is screaming and Sonny's guitar comes fluttering in from outer space. I may not update more than weekly, but it's the cream of the crop, folks. These artists are trying to make a living in this world of Paris and Britney, and if you like what you hear, I hope you don't need my persuasion to click on the album covers and help support them!

1 comment:

Monkey Bastard said...

Excellent stuff, absolutely excellent. Battles kick my ass.