Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura-self titled CD; Public Eyesore Records #131, 2015

On occasion, Disaster Amnesiac worries about Public Eyesore/Eh? honcho Bryan Day. Between what I'd gather is a constant production schedule for his labels, and keeping his Bad Jazz group going (including tours), where does he find time to rest? Seriously, Bryan, make sure and drink plenty of water!
Thankfully for the Noise/Improvised Music/huh? fan, all of this effort pays off in recordings such as Public Eyesore's newest, the Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura disc. Over four simply named pieces, I-IV, this powerful quartet blasts, pounds, and sizzles its way out of the speakers with the fury of Punk Rock, the demonstrative battle energy of Metal, and the control of Jazz.
Guest Nakamura, on no-input mixing board, provides a lot of that sizzle, as his sounds remain often in the background, subtly coloring the side areas and crevices of the overall sound field. Listen to his work of II for what has struck this listener as the best overall example of that action within this disc. Disaster Amnesiac figures that "politeness" does not hold much weight with a lot of the more aggro improvisors, but I definitely get a sense that Nakamura's approach here was somewhat framed by that notion. Perhaps he didn't want to bring too much attention to what he was doing within the overall group sound? It's not so much that he's timid, as it is that he blends into the maelstrom whipped up by Many Arms.
Maelstrom, indeed! Philadelphia-based Many Arms, according the to the Public Eyesore press sheet that came with this disc, have spent a lot of time on tour themselves, and this certainly comes through in their sound. Drummer Ricardo Lagomasino often goes full octopus mode, whirling his arms and legs around the kit's components as his poly-rhythmic layering propels the music into highly energetic zones. Bassist Johnny DeBlase plays and incredible solo on IV, really wresting center stage for the four strings, but equal to the other players throughout. Nick Millevoi on guitar pulls industrial sized scraping and tonal blasts, along with cool cello sounds on III. In a word, Many Arms plays. Their energy and intensity has made Disaster Amnesiac think of Tony Williams Lifetime at times, almost as if that band had dispensed with their "prettier" stuff and just delved right down into the well of delicious, noisy, messed up improvisational whoop ass. Many Arms fucking bring it!
On the engineering side, Eugene Lew deserves much credit for capturing the many layers of instrumental depth that Many Arms and Nakamura poured out during this one day (!) session. The listener can hear all elements with the clarity that Disaster Amnesiac is sure that the players desired from their respective axes.
Within the past few days, I've seen on social media that Bryan Day is currently planning a trip to the Philippines  in order to document what he's told me is a burgeoning and good Improvised/Noise scene developing there. Disaster Amnesiac looks forward to tasting some of that lumpia, but, in the meantime, I'll be jamming Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura at those times when a cleansing aural blast is required!

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