Thuja, Pine Cone Temples (Strange Attractors Audio House, SAAH3223) 2CD

The squeaks and plinkity-plonks of post-Bailey not-really-jazz improvisation have seemingly been replaced in the international noise “underground” by a new lexicon of metallic scrapes, low rumbles resembling steady bong hits, and various other underwater soundz. I’m not one for codifying movements – and “noise” or “new beard america” or whatever cockamamie catchphrase The Wire comes up with next week sure are silly vis-à-vis ALL MUSIC IS NOISE, duh (don’t get me wrong though ‘cuz I like The Wire alright) – but there’s a lot more emphasis on DENSITY and VOLUME as parameters in “deep listening” these days, and I ain’t talking about Pauline Oliveros’s moustache (and don’t get me wrong ‘cuz both Pauline and her moustache totally kick ass!). Thuja was, perhaps, ahead of the curve, as I sure wasn’t paying attention. Pine Cone Temples consists of recordings made by the quartet of Loren Chasse, Glenn Donaldson, Rob Reger and Steven R. Smith between 1999 and 2004, and I can’t help but think that most of the stuff is pretty forward-thinking, anticipating today’s crop of I-got-some-pedals drone goons. But it ain’t just a couple of notes spread over a couple hours (again, don’t get me wrong ‘cuz Conrad, Palestine and a few others show how two notes can destroy worlds). But there’s a lot of variety here: organ vamps interrupted by chainsaw-attacked guitar, delicate sustained piano figures reinforced with amplifier static and no-so-random random percussive accidents, and even more stuff – all of it very pretty – than I have the time or space or attention span to go into. Beats hearing some twenty-something chump noodle on an expensive guitar because he – always he – read Thurston namedrop Derek Bailey in an interview (don’t get me wrong, I like Thurston) (and I’m talking about myself there, always).

Buy Pine Cone Temples from Forced Exposure

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