Bassoonist Katherine Young leads the quartet of Owen Stewart-Robertson, Mike Pride and Erica Dicker through a monstrous ride of jazz, rock, compositional, and experimental work that fits perfectly with the Downtown NY sensibility.
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Label: Public Eyesore
Catalog ID: 120
Squidco Product Code: 17520
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded by Jim Clouse at Park West Studio, Brooklyn in November 2010.
Katherine Young-bassoon, electronics
Owen Stewart-Robertson-guitar, electronics
Mike Pride-drums, percussion
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1. Relief 6:38
2. Patricia Highsmith 8:30
3. Feldspar 2:24
4. Crushed 7:34
5. For Autonauts, For Travelers 7:01
6. Deuterium 12:07
7. Entropy 4:55
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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sample the album:
"Just about every other symphony orchestral instrument has been drafted into service for the diabolically opposed world of improvised music, so why not the bassoon? That's a question that's not only been asked but also affirmatively answered, by Katherine Young. Having worked with Anthony Braxton and Faust's Joachim Irmler, Young started making a name as a solo performer, cradling this long, straight double-reeded instrument with an array of effects foot pedals set in front of her.
Young's use of pedals doesn't contort the sound of her bassoon beyond recognition, they serve to amplify the unusual sounds she can coax from the instrument, some of which are not what you'd typically hear from that horn, but Young's got broader goals in mind. Namely, to take the bassoon to places it's never gone before. She can be alternately mellow or abrasive, metallic or ruminative. No mood, no timbre is out of bounds to Young.
A couple of years ago, she took the bassoon and her strange concepts for playing it to a combo format, a quartet called Katherine Young's Pretty Monsters. Even here, she breaks cleanly from convention. Consisting of Young, Erica Dicker (violin), Owen Stewart-Robertson (guitars, electronics) and Mike Pride (drums & percussion), Pretty Monsters is a band with a rock-bred, punk attitude rhythm section jousting with the avant-chamber tendencies of Young and Dicker.
The seven compositions - all Young's - don't seem to follow any discernable structure: some are one or two chord songs, others atonal and rootless. Because Young does this, everyone is allowed more freedom, and interesting noises and shapes replace any semblance of what is widely recognized as melody. The interaction among everyone is intimate and critical to the flow of these songs.
"Relief" plays out like a light, quiet conversation among four people, based on a single note, never rising above a murmur. That all changes on the next track, the doom dirge rock bombast of "Patricia Highsmith" (YouTube below), defined by Stewart-Robertson's skittish lines and Pride's discreet prowling, with Young and Dicker reacting and providing counterpoints. "For Autonauts, For Travelers" is most indicative of Young's solo work: it begins with her grunting, gyrating bassoon, and the others fill in the accents with a flighty violin, random electronic chirps and odd guitar sounds until Pride's percussive effects begins to enter into focus. "Crushed" begins with Dicker's arpeggiated violin played like a fiddle, going relentlessly until the notes are bled out, and a dreamy sequence led by Stewart-Robertson soon runs into a buzz-saw of dense, pure noise. Pride is finally let off the leash on the final track "Entropy," determined to stamp out all the ambient-noise sounds generated from the other three.
Nope, there's nothing at all typical about the bassoon playing of one Katherine Young, and as a fascinating, unbounded extension of her musical personality, neither are her Pretty Monsters. Katherine Young's Pretty Monsters is a brash, assured first statement from a talented young performer who is poised to do for the bassoon what Tom Cora did for the cello."-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else
• Show Bio for Mike Pride
"Mike Pride: Percussionist • Composer • Vocalist • Visual Artist
Born and raised in Southern Maine, but based out of New York City since 2000, Mike Pride currently performs solo, leads modern-jazz quartet From Bacteria To Boys, the 7-drummer installation-band Drummer's Corpse, and the MDC piano trio I Hate Work. He also co-leads the ensembles Pulverize The Sound (w/ Peter Evans and Tim Dahl), and Period (w/ Charlie Looker and Chuck Bettis). Pride is renowned for his ability to excel in a wide range of genres and ensembles. He has worked with everyone from improvised music icon Anthony Braxton to punk legends Millions Of Dead Cops, toured extensively on four continents, appeared on more than 100 recordings, and is currently touring the world opening for comedian Amy Schumer with Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore.
A short list of his collaborators includes Mick Barr, Tim Berne, Boredoms, Eugene Chadbourne, Nels Cline, Andrew D'Angelo, Trevor Dunn, Dynamite Club, Peter Evans, Charles Gayle, Milford Graves, Drew Gress, Mary Halvorson, Curtis Hasselbring, Nona Hendryx, Jon Irabagon, Brad Jones, Haino Keiji, Kirk Knuffke, George Lewis, Frank Lowe, Bill McHenry, Tony Malaby, Sam Mickens, Butch Morris, Joe Morris, William Parker, Marc Ribot, Matana Roberts, Herb Robertson, Jamie Saft, Sonny Simmons, Craig Wedren, Nate Wooley, Otomo Yoshihide and John Zorn.
Pride's versatility doesn't end with his eclectic résumé as a popular sideman and leader/co-leader of many active ensembles spanning the worlds of modern-jazz, avant-rock, noise and doom metal improv. He is also a busy educator and clinician, a soundtrack composer for TV shows, video games, podcasts, independent films, and websites, and an experienced and exhibited visual artist.
Mike proudly uses Yamaha Drums & hardware, Vic Firth striking implements, and Humes & Berg Cases."-Mike Pride Website (http://mikepride.com/about/)
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