Thick, grungy, ecstatic free improvisation crossing into rock territory from the trio of Mats Gustafsson (The Thing) on sax, Brian Chippendale (Lightening Bolt) on drums, and Massimo Pupillo (Zu) on electric bass, a temporary project that evolved into a touring band.
Chippendale, Brian / Mats Gustafsson / Massimo Pupillo
Label: Trost Records
Released in: Austria
Begun as a temporary project in 2014 by Mats Gustafsson (The Thing, Fire!), Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt), and Massimo Pupillo (Zu), this trio soon evolved into a band project. They're now releasing their first album on Trost Records, with a tour to follow in 2016."-TrostAlso available on CD.
"Though they were already well known separately, 2014 brought Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale, Zu bassist Massimo Pupillo, and all-around avant-garde jazz saxophone svengali Mats Gustafsson together for the first time. What started as a temporary thing evolved into Melt, an album that documents well what each of these players is so sublime at in their respective groups whilst managing to retain a likeminded, collaborative feel. Nothing sounds too disjointed or out of place and the trio seems to have a sense of humor that lends itself well to alleviating the heaviness of their playing.
Amid a European tour from that August, the trio got together to record in Berlin at Radialsystem. The fruit of their labors is here in three extended efforts clocking in north of an hour and a half. "Faces of Fear. Transformed. Melted." opens proceedings and could quickly be reduced to its final word alone - a 32-minute analog jam driven by Pupillo's scummy electric bass and Gustafsson's constantly twisting electronics, Chippendale's bass drum increases pace in the final five minutes to provide an unhinged ecstasy. Gustafsson's electronics sound like wavering voices and heavily distorted screams in the vein of an old industrial record. Where Chippendale's voice ends and the electronic manipulations begin is an extraordinarily blurry line as the song reaches its conclusion, finally tumbling into echo and warped synths and collapsing bass. And that's just the intro.
Melt would be worth the price of admission to hear that initial track in its entirety, but the 46-minute "Flesh. Transformed. Melted." continues in a similar vein. The track starts off with a Bongripper-esque stoner-rock bass line from Pupillo. After a few distorted "las" and checks, Chippendale's vocals start to feature. "The first time I ever saw Metallica," he begins, launching into a barely discernible story about the twelfth row seats he had and the chairs that flew into the air during the show. Amid a caterwaul of noise featuring a new, worm-like synth coming in a little before the five-minute mark, Chippendale comes off sounding like a zealous dictator or an impassioned cult leader, with just the right menace and just the right amount of echo to convey something far more sinister, like the old "Die Eier von Satan" trick Tool used years back. Lightning Bolt fans will feel at home with Chippendale's liberal use of snare hits here, though the clatter fades to allow Pupillo's bass to take front and center around 18 minutes. "Just what exactly do you think you're doing?" Chippendale repeats here, before politely adding - more clearly this time - "I just want to thank you guys for sitting through the story of my first Metallica concert." From there, the group coalesces around an Oneida-like groove at 31 minutes and the flurry of cymbal crashes, rapid-fire bass and snare drum hits locks in quite solidly until a beautiful, languid outro two minutes from the end.
There's not much of a breather before "Melt" steps in. Even as the shortest song, at a shade over seven and a half minutes, it still packs a punch. Chippendale does some beatboxing noises as Gustafsson brings a whining, alarm-like synth in, mostly in the left channel of your headphones, while Pupillo starts with a zagging bass. It all comes alive relatively quickly after a minute and, once again, Chippendale's vocals toe the line of vaguely melodic and creepily authoritarian. After six minutes, Chippendale asks violently, "Who brought the motherfuckin' bagpipes to the party?" It's hilarious and any sort of chin-stroking self-seriousness left at this point dissipates.
Despite its sense of humor, however, the Chippendale-Gustafsson-Pupillo team is nothing to be taken lightly. Given their extensive histories in heavier, headier music, the way Melt reads may be ridiculous, but the way it sounds is unflinchingly aggressive. The flesh, transformed, Melted, is our own."-Patrick Masterson, Dusted Magazine
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Shipping Weight: 16.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 135LP
Squidco Product Code: 21371
Recorded at Radialsystemin Berlin, on August 12th, 2014 by Joachen Christian Sandig.
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1 Faces Of Fear. Transformed. Melted. Part 1 16:40
1 Faces Of Fear. Transformed. Melted. Part 2 15:29
2 Melted 7:33