The Squid's Ear Magazine

Carey, Kirsten / Aaron Edgcomb: Mature Defense Mechanism (Relative Pitch)

Known best for the guitar work on clipping's Rick and Morty song "Stab Him in the Throat", Chicago guitarist Kirsten Carey joins with drummer Aaron Edgcomb (Trigger) for this set of mischievous improvised experiments that explore the relationships between rock, jazz and experimental sound through eleven assertive dialogs of quirky, skronky, and inspired playing.

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Kirsten Carey-guitar

Aaron Edgcomb-drums

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UPC: 5904224872489

Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR1181
Squidco Product Code: 34696

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in Detroit, Michigan and New York, New York.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Mature Defense Mechanism is an improvised experiment in the relationships between rock and jazz characterized by whimsy amidst seclusion. It's natural territory for guitarist Kirsten Carey and drummer Aaron Edgcomb, who are both gaining reputations for adventurous and wide-ranging approaches to music making."-Relative Pitch

Artist Biographies

"Kirsten Carey is a guitarist, composer, and performer. She was raised in Chicago, IL and, after two years in Los Angeles, presently resides in Detroit, MI. While perhaps most well-known for playing the very skronky guitar solo on clipping's "Stab Him in the Throat," Carey's primary projects include the angular no-wave duo Throwaway, the classical-rock-improv Uroboros Sextet, and the Ulysses Project - a suite based on James Joyce's novel that combines free jazz, rock, and theater.

Carey's work plays with the boundary between music and the more theatrical and presentational aspects of performance, and constantly tampers with genre. She has performed extensively across the USA and Japan, as well as in Canada, Europe, and Thailand. Carey has also been commissioned to compose for new music projects such as the Hinge Ensemble and Chris Sies of Latitude 49.

In 2019, Carey was awarded a cultural exchange grant to study the shamisen in Japan by the Asian Cultural Council. Once that exchange was finally realized after a pandemic-induced delay, she was awarded an Emergency Grant by the Foundation of Contemporary Arts in 2023 to continue her work building bridges between the Japanese and American experimental music scenes.

Carey was a resident artist at the 2018 Co-Incidence Festival in Boston, MA, attended the 2018 Banff Jazz & Creative Music Workshop, and has been a featured performer at the International Society of Improvised Music Conference. Her composition "Sasquatch / Happening" is featured on Clean Feed Record's solo guitar compilation I Never Meta Guitar III, curated by celebrated guitarist Elliott Sharp.

(List time!) Carey has shared the stage with Tyshawn Sorey, Okkyung Lee, Elliott Sharp, Fay Victor, Val Jeanty, Wadada Leo Smith, Weasel Walter, Thollem McDonas, James Ilgenfritz, and Karl Berger, among others. Her groups have also opened for the Sun Ra Arkestra, Deerhoof, Circuit Des Yeux, Thumbscrew, and Anthony Pirog. She has been written up in Downbeat, All About Jazz, the Detroit News, the Detroit Metro Times, the New York Jazz Record, Ghetto Blaster, Post Trash, Tinnitist, Current Magazine, and more.

Carey earned her BFA in Jazz & Contemplative Studies (focusing on guitar) in 2014 at the University of Michigan, working primarily with Frank Portolese, Andrew Bishop, and Geri Allen. She is currently studying Tsugaru shamisen under All-Japan national champion Reigen Fujii.

Additionally, Carey works as a video game / anime editorialist, researcher, and influencer, with her work around the anime and manga series One Piece garnering viral attention. She has been a guest on The One Piece Podcast and has been published on The Mary Sue, The Daily Beast, Screen Rant, and the YouTube channels Channel Frederator / the Leaderboard. Carey is also a sound effects and music editor, and her credits include Disney's The Lion Guard, Rodney Ascher's A Glitch in the Matrix (Magnolia Pictures, featured at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival), and an upcoming Netflix Japan show.


-Kirsten Carey Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Aaron Edgcomb is a composer, drummer, and percussionist whose work appears in many contexts including improvisational music, jazz, new music, noise, and song. Aaron is very interested in the way music creates and changes social and political identities.

Aaron has performed in and composed for many different ensembles including the electro-rock group Yelsa, his solo drums and electronics project REA, The Gown of Entry, and the improvising hardcore trio Trigger. He has collaborated with such artists as John Zorn, Ted Reichman, Anthony Coleman, The Ladles, and Adam Dunson.

Aaron has performed extensively around the world including performances at the MoMA PS1, National Sawdust, Roulette, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Philharmonie de Paris, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Sarajevo Jazz Festival, the Jazz Em Agosto Festival in Lisbon, not to mention the uncountable and invaluable living rooms, garages, basements, and DIY venues that work so hard to keep creative music alive.

In addition to his work as an improviser, Aaron is trained in concert percussion and performs solo marimba, vibraphone, and multi-percussion works. In 2014 Aaron debuted his solo marimba composition "Dawn Has Appeared" for Ran Blake's 80th birthday concert at the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. He has also performed orchestral works with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, and Reno Chamber Orchestra.

Aaron holds a B.M. in Jazz and Percussion from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a M.M. in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory.

Currently, Aaron is composing new works for solo and ensemble performance (and occasionally poetry and prose), teaching percussion/composition/improvisation, and enjoys reading, and fine cuisine (both eating and cooking it)."

-Aaron Edgcomb Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Taste of Foreboding 03:18

2. Laces Out, Lacan! 02:27

3. Brian Wilson's Bad Day 07:12

4. Pandemic on a Pogo 04:01

5. wee-daisy 02:45

6. Oh No Bakemono! (A Stalinist is Laughing at Me) 03:40

7. cran-cherry 04:03

8. Little Robot's Big Speech 01:05

9. Mr. T's Transcendental Meditation Class 05:26

10. Sad Atlantis 02:54

11. See Ya! 02:08

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Rock and Related
Free Improvisation
Improvised Rock
Rock and Related
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Duo Recordings
New in Rock Forms
New in Improvised Music
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