Various Artists - Mudwagon: A Blackmetalfreejazzimprov Compilation
This is one Mudwagon that takes us fourwheelin' through some greasy, sludgey, glorious turf, being a collection of improv tracks that pay homage to the free styles of the past while incorporating some of that same freedom found in newer genres. A connection between free jazz and underground metal has been made, if implicitly, in recent years by bands like Skullflower, Wildidlife and even Om. Here the connection is made explicit, as guitars aim to keep up with wild horns, and vice versa.
"Starching a petal" by Sudden Oak is driven by the insane guitar of John Ward and the tenor sax of Matt Erickson, who more than keeps up in stirring the chaos.
"A Toothsome Mouthful"by Soft Teeth, here the drums replace the horn, but the track is still more or less guitar-focused.
"Chunk" by The Spirit Moves, featuring Jim Ryan's tenor, wails both in homage and spirit to the early days of Free Jazz, when the uncharted waters created by Albert Ayler, Sonny Sharrock and Coltrane was truly a new path to the waterfall.
"Broken Toys and Black Orchids" is a tour of the spectrum of free sounds, from ambient to black metal. In other words, free. Here the trio of Philip Everett (Autoharp, Electronics, Percussion) Ray Schaeffer on bass and drummer Anthony Flores serve as true explorers and guides
"wine ov depths" is a pounding assault featuring Mikey Yeda's industrial, somewhat muddy drums and Jay Korber's sax. "End To A Means" is solo Korber, and explores the far reaches (and audience testing limits) of pure improv.
"Orgone Collector" is a sort of hell fusion, with the light melodies of fusion overlaid by screaming riffs.
The finale is the twelve minute "knockin' solar system," where Wiggawaum (Loren Means on Trombone, Douglas Katelus on keys and drummer Randy Lee Sutherland take you on a nightmarish, tortured ride of rhythm, with monstrous vocals luring you inside the carnival tent.
You can't go wrong with any of the tracks on "Mudwagon." If you can't appreciate all the tracks for their daring wail, you can at least inhale the air of freedom and balls-out inspiration of bands that just scratch the surface of what is out there.
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