Carlos Giffoni North Six (with Lee Ranaldo and Jim O’Rourke)

[Antiopic; 2004]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: improvisation, beautiful noise, collaboration
Others: Fenn o’berg, Massimo, Gert-Jan Prins, Nautical Almanac

As you cross the Williamsburg bridge from Manhattan into Brooklyn for the first time, you come into contact with some very urban landscapes that contain shabby apartments and a barrage of pizza shops. One who's not from the great city of New York (such as myself, unfortunately) would begin to think he or she isn't in the best part of town. But that's not necessarily the case. You immediately begin to realize that a large portion of the Brooklyn population is consumed by twenty-somethings. One thing is certain, however; Brooklyn is breeding grounds for all types of the arts. Hell, even Chris Rock lives there.

But there's something about being at North Six, in particular, that let's you know you're in the heartland of experimental music. It's home to some great new bands as Double Leopards, Animal Collective, and my favorite, Gang Gang Dance. Even though North Six is a venue that possesses very little aesthetic, it has recently become a haven for many forward-thinking musicians to come together for collaborative purposes. Such is the case with this release, simply titled North Six, created by three artists who know a thing or two about collaboration.

North Six immediately kicks off with Giffoni's laptop concoctions, which are then joined by Ranaldo's guitar and O'Rourke doing "that thing he does." But this is really a very nice collaboration here. Unlike some noise music these days, North Six is quite listenable. The three really don't take much time in this 19-minutes to slack off. In fact, it's pretty amazing that these guys can play for this long while still managing to keep the set engaging. As you will hear on this recording, the audience is also very responsive to what this trio is producing on stage.

For those of you who think improvisational collaboration is just a bunch of guys getting together making random noise with no purpose, North Six will be to your liking. Most notably because it's one of the most cohesive sounding collaborations I've heard thus far. And with the only track here containing the words "part 1," I'm hoping there will be more to come from these fellas.

1. North Six, pt. 1

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