Tuesday, May 11, 2021

gabby fluke-mogul-Jacob Felix Heule-Kanoko Nishi-Smith-Non-Dweller; Humbler Records, 2021


The standard m.o. for Disaster Amnesiac is really simple: receive music, decide to review, listen, listen, listen, listen, then review. I mention this in regards to Non-Dweller, the fantastic new release from gabby fluke-mogul, Jacob Felix Heule, and Kanoko Nishi-Smith, because it's been really tough to get from the listening phase and into the reviewing one. 

The best explanation for this hesitancy is simply that this music is so deep and rich, so sublimely intimate, I really don't want to stumble around with words that seem inadequate as far as descriptions of these sounds go.  So, here sits Disaster Amnesiac, really wanting to review Non-Dweller, but feeling rather daunted by the task, even after multiple, deep listens. That said, I need to at least try.

These three improvisors are all clearly reaching new depths of their understanding of extended techniques with the instruments which they use: violin, koto, and bass drum. From this elegantly simple array, fluke-mogul, Heule, and Nishi-Smith utilize this breadth of understanding to conjure up a tightly focused trio action that goes so far beyond notes and so deeply into worlds; these worlds spin upon the axes that are scaffolded by each player as they listen and respond to the gestures of their cohorts. The sum total of these actions seem best described as episodes that feature all three of them changing places within the shifting zones of the improvisations. When a listener finds themselves within these various episodes, they will likely find it fascinating to try to figure out who is playing what. Is that the koto playing the bass guitar part? Is that a bowed cymbal on the bass drum, or the violin bow that is making that deep drone? Which one of the instruments is making that higher register clicking sound, and which one is making the booming low sound in counterpart to it? This is not to say that the various voices are disconnected, for they all blend into whole that is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.If you're at all interested in Improvised Music and the ways in which improvising bands order their individual languages into group dynamics, surely the kind of playing that this Sublimity Trio displays will appeal to your tastes. fluke-mogul, Heule, and Nishi-Smith are going deep on Non-Dweller.

So, yeah, here sits Disaster Amnesiac, having had tracks i and ii of Non-Dweller in the listening rotation for days and days, marveling at the beautiful cover art by Sarah Partch Smith, struggling to find the words that could even adequately begin to describe the heights and the depths that it travels  to. 

Perhaps I should have just kept this review really simple: listen and be blown away.

No comments: