“Free Jazz” [live at Cafe Oto]
On April 1, Dean Blunt and an ensemble of artists — including three pianists (Blunt, Joanne Robertson, Emil Elg), three saxophonists (Asger Hartvig, Shabaka Hutchins, Bradley Miller), two guitarists (Blunt, Robertson), a bass player (Elg), and vocalist Liquid Thompson — gathered in London’s Cafe Oto for a show dubbed “Free Jazz.” And that it was: in just under an hour, the octet blazed through an alternately serene and terrifying set, featuring sharp transitions that took them from sprawling passages of space, mood, and texture, to pummeling, unforgiving blasts of sound that achieved an entirely different level of intensity altogether.
The set was structurally loose and flowing, but there are recurring musical themes and various textual anchors, particularly by Liquid Thompson, who reads material written by Blunt (who also takes the mic to mumble in the background and occasionally mutter “free jazz” just before a full-throttled assault). The words tend to deal with signifiers of “black identity,” with lyrical references to everyone from Wu-Tang to Jaja Soze to Sonic Youth. It’s about everything you’d expect from Blunt: a little confusing and a little cryptic, but incredibly incisive and delightfully unpredictable. Listen to the whole set here:
Meanwhile, Blunt’s Mersh 12-inch is out soon, as well as a full-length on Rough Trade called Black Metal.
Dorval & Devereaux
Speaking of Dido/Mathers, I got an e-mail this morning or last night from the majestic Steven Rosborough stationed at the Moon Glyph outpost. That e-mail contained information about one of the greatest duos formed so far this year: Crystal Dorval (White Poppy) and Beau Devereaux (Samantha Glass). Apparently they grinded out some work about two years ago, but now in full analog form, Dorval & Devereaux come at listeners with 30 minutes of pure pop swelter and melt. Lush vocals echo along a scant rythm comprised of synth tones, minimal drums, and gentle riffing in “Heavy Hands.” As well, TMT favorite Francesco De Gallo (a.k.a. Hobo Cult) made a video of the single, and signals in all sorts of lives across the visually haunted spectrum. Totally complimenting the music.
I already bought my tape. You’ll probably be scanning discogs after it sold out later kicking yourself. So avoid the bruises and snag Dorval & Devereaux’s debut, self-titled tape on Moon Glyph immediately!
For a fairly well-put-together-looking dude, DOS4GW makes music that certainly sounds like it’s having a hard time keeping itself together at all. It’s somewhat similar to, yet totally opposite the sound created by A.M. Breakups, which if you’ll recall, I said, “Never fully descends into noise territory; instead, it remains firmly tethered to the producer’s strong sense of melody.” Indeed, until recently, I only knew DOS4GW’s name through its attachment to Breakups’ buds Armand Hammer; DOS4GW received production credits for “Post Haste,” “Marooned,” and “The Good Die Mostly Over Bullshit” off the Half Measures mixtape, as well as “Hatchet Job” and “The Rent is Too Damn High” off Race Music. His noisiness was evident from the jump, but with this latest instrumental project, Hendra 3, he’s really starting to get dub-bugged. I mean, if Breakups’ sound is “firmly tethered,” DOS4GW’s is hanging on by a thread. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though. Sometimes, you’ve just got to let go. Also, to be fair, until recently I thought DOS4GW’s name was pronounced “dose-four-gee-double-you.” (I’m now pretty sure it’s pronounced ‘dosage’ and feel like I’m giving away a magic trick in telling you this. Sorry, but not really.)
“25 Bucks” Feat. Purity Ring
So, the whole dichotomy between thug and club raps in Old very much turned me off to the latest Danny Brown album. Definitely didn’t see this Dido/Mathers type shit between Brown and Purity Ring coming either. Maybe I was still caught up in the “flavor” of “Fine Shrine” off an LP I considered buying, as I was waiting for my fiancee in Urban Outfitters, but I downloaded and forgot about it instead. Here’s my face. Say something to it. Guerrilla needs to nosh. LOL - I’m angry, grr. HAH - because, like – dBrown gave that Purity Ring singer his powers of the movie Click. Then again, I’m cool with that ‘cause I’ve only seen Click once and it was around 4 AM, so shit got sad and then darkish, and decided that I WANT to see how fucked my life becomes.
Enjoy the ride Danny Brown and Purity Ring. “25 Bucks” will get you that universal remote from Bed, Bath & Beyond you’ve always wanted to ride through life on the shitty street. Hi!
DJ Rashad / DJ Spinn
“On Site” [Kanye West rework]
It’s cool that Kanye West has been hitting up producers like Arca and Evian Christ lately, but I’m still surprised he hasn’t hit up DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn yet. These Chi-Town footwork gods are obvious fans — Rashad did an amazing rework of “Niggas in Paris” on TEKLIFE Vol. 1 (“Welcome to the Chi”), and DJ Spinn took on “Mercy” on TEKLIFE Vol. 2 (“Mercy”) — and both Rashad and Yeezy did flips of Gil Scott-Heron’s “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” (Rashad has done two, actually), while both Spinn and Yeezy flipped Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness.” And with Kanye on the lookout these days for adventurous producers, seems like a hometown collaboration would be a no-brainer.
But until that day comes, we have a new rework from Rashad and Spinn. On this outing, the boys chuck Yeezus’ gritty intro track “On Sight” through the footwork grinder, turning the aggressively chopped-up, synth-heavy track into a nasty club banger, a perfect battle track for Kanye’s own footwork. Check it out below, and someone please get these guys in contact with Yeezy.