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Massive, disturbing sound sculptures and forbidding landscapes, just what you'd expect from an album named "Stench" by tuba & amp player Dan Peck's The Gate, with Nate Wooley on trumpet & amp, Tim Dahl & Tom Blancarte on electric bass, and Brian Osborne on percussion.

Gate, The (feat Tim Dahl / Nate Wooley)
Stench [VINYL]

Gate, The (feat Tim Dahl / Nate Wooley): Stench [VINYL] (Smeraldina-Rima)

Label: Smeraldina-Rima    
Released in: Belgium    

"The Gate is Dan Peck, Tom Blancarte and Brian Osborne. Formed in 2008, and originally named Dan Peck Trio, the band has developed an aesthetic that is unique and uncompromising. Dividing time between improvisation and Dan's compositions, the music ranges from bleak landscapes of near-­silence to massive, horrifying sound sculptures. The Gate seeks to break down and confuse the conventional roles of a horn-bass-­drums ensemble, revealing the most raw and elemental aspects of organized sound. This time the trio is accompanied by Tim Dahl and Nate Wooley, making Stench the gnarliest and blackest The Gate experience so far."-Smeraldina-Rima

"As a recovering metalhead (it never fully goes away), The Gate peaks my interest. The trio travels in improvisational circles while toting the sorts of imagery and language found in the metal world. Previous albums had names like Vomit Dreams and Destruction of Darkness, and their website and merchandise is splattered with disemboweled corpses and inverted pentagrams. While we've seen other improvisers dabbling in metal lately (e.g. Nilssen-Love/Marhaug/Pupillo's You're Next, Slobber Pup, Jon Irabagon's album with Mick Barr, etc), The Gate seem committed to being all evil, all the time.

The group's earlier efforts certainly lived up to the "doom jazz" label. If you could write sludge riffs for a horn trio, the band-Dan Peck on tuba, Tom Blancharte on double bass, and Brian Osborne on drums-came as close as you can get, all while mixing in some free improvisation and creepy ambiance for good measure. But imagery and a steadfast devotion to heaviness are where most of Stench's similarities to metal end. Stench finds the band bulked up to a fully electric quintet (with Tim Dahl's additional bass and Nate Wooley's amplified trumpet), and the sound invoked is more in the lineage of the darker noise groups of the late 90s and early 00s: Wolf Eyes, Skullflower, Yellow Swans, Aufgehoben-one might look even farther back and find the reckless spirit of Borbetomagus.

This means Stench is incredibly loud and incredibly noisy. "Bated Beast" takes no time at all exploding into a vortex of fuzzed-out everything and distorted caterwauling. I think if the title character in Lovecraft's "The Music of Erich Zann" had been in a improvised noise group, this is exactly what his hyperdimensional, demon-repelling music would have sounded like. If you have the stomach for it, it's bracing stuff.

The intensity carries across side A, but for a moment of respite at the end of "Induced Mutation" with gentle bells and the faintest of acoustic bass. Side B opens with "Axe of Death," a dark, unstoppable wall of depressed, dragging sound. Eventually it breaks down, bleeding into eerie feedback and distorted bass sawing that almost sounds like backwards Satanic voices (if you're disposed to hear that sort of thing).

In a way, Stench embodies a strain of aural nihilism that most metal bands should be jealous of. There's no neat chord progressions or blast beats or perfectly rhythmic tremolo picking. Convention is simply suffocated in its relentless, unbounded force. Stench closes with "Swögen," which, with its sounds of drifting buoys and foghorns, brings to mind the title of a Wolf Eyes track: "Dead in a Boat." As the improvisation picks up speed, it morphs into something even harder to describe-like slow motion Jew's harp or a malfunctioning carnival ride. It's decidedly less evil than the preceding pieces, though it still rests comfortably within the bleak, uncanny realm that's just on the other side of The Gate."-Dan Sorrells, Free Jazz Blog

The LP was pressed on high quality heavy vinyl, and is housed in an open screen printed sleeve on heavy stock.

See all items in the Vinyl Recordings category

Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings

Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog

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Product Information:

The LP was pressed on high quality heavy vinyl, and is housed in an open screen printed sleeve on heavy stock.


Label: Smeraldina-Rima
Catalog ID: Smeraldina-Rima 28 / Heat Retention Records 036
Squidco Product Code: 19481

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: Belgium
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Thousand Caves Studio in Queens, New York by Colin Marston.


Dan Peck-tuba, amplifier

Tom Blancarte-electric upright bass

Brian Osborne-percussion

Tim Dahl-electric bass

Nate Wooley-trumpet, amplifier

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Track Listing:


1. Bated Beast 08:47

2. Induced Mutation 07:55


1. Axe Of Death 11:00

2. Swogen 10:34