Jim O’Rourke & Akira Sakata team with Chikamorachi & Merzbow on album for Family Vineyard

Jim O'Rourke & Akira Sakata team with Chikamorachi & Merzbow on album for Family Vineyard

The sweet overlapping middle sector of the Venn diagram of the noise and free-jazz traditions continues to expand. A great harsh static jammer or electronics manipulator, like a great drummer or a great guitarist, can be transplanted into any sympathetic musical context and make his or her mark known in a diverse ensemble — just as a great guitarist or drummer can skronk with a ferocity analogous to an overdriven oscillator. With their mammoth catalogs preceding them, we can ID those infinitely versatile heavyweight players who can lock into informal collaborations, shred out some raw improv, and emerge with something unprecedented, simply because such a opportunity to work together hadn’t come along before.

Enter Flying Basket, the forthcoming 2xLP mega-jam monolith, featuring more noise/free-jazz heavyweights than one room should seemingly be able to contain. You’ve got living legend Akira Sakata pouring out the unhinged sax spirals, not content to rest on the laurels of four decades of boundary-pushing post-jazz transgressions. You’ve got Jim O’Rourke ripping out lacerating distorted guitar leads, taking a break from being a world-class producer, songwriter, synthesist, electro-acoustic wizard, bassist, etc. You’ve got Chris Corsano on the drums and Darin Gray on the bass, who shred so fiercely in their tandem hive mind (not to mention separately) that they’ve earned one name between them (Chikamorachi). And… you know, just one more casual bud thrown into this crew: Masami Akita a.k.a. Merzbow. No long explanatory clause necessary. And this is the first time Akita has ever played with Sakata??? What??

There’s this photo that appears around the 30-second mark of the album trailer video above, in which O’Rourke appears to be yelling into the pickups of his own guitar, Sakata is busy wailing, Gray and Corsano are vibing, all while Merzbow peers through sunglasses at his laptop like he’s the supreme yokozuna don of Noiseville. It’s beautiful. Enough to inspire me, for the first time, to utter the phrase “squad goals”* sincerely.

If the trailer doesn’t sate your hunger for shred, stream the nine-minute sample below, and look for Flying Basket September 18 via Family Vineyard.

Flying Basket tracklist:

01. Flying Basket, part 1
02. Flying Basket, part 2
03. Flying Basket, part 3
04. Flying Basket, part 4

*[a brief compendium of some other peerless squads: A, B, C.]

• Family Vineyard: http://family-vineyard.com

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