The Squid's Ear Magazine


Flying Luttenbachers, The (Walter / Dahl / Battistoni / Nelson / Ospovat): Terror Iridescence (ugEXPLODE)

Perhaps the darkest and most experimental album from the Flying Luttenbachers, the 4th from the NYC-based version of Weasel Walter on guitars & drums+bagpipe chanter & electronics, Tim Dahl on bass, Katie Battistoni on guitar, Matt Nelson on sax & live electronics and Sam Ospovat on drums, in two extended, terrific collective improvisations.
 

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Personnel:



Weasel Walter-guitar, drums, bass guitar, bagpipe chanter, dead electronics

Tim Dahl-bass guitar

Katie Battistoni-guitar

Matt Nelson-tenor saxophone, live electronics

Sam Ospovat-drums, live electronics


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Label: ugEXPLODE
Catalog ID: ug86
Squidco Product Code: 31766

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Menegroth, in Queens, New York, on October 16th, 2021, by Colin Marston.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Terror Iridescence is the 4th full length release by the latter-day, New York City based reincarnation of the seminal Punk Jazz/No Wave/Brutal Prog unit The Flying Luttenbachers, and the 17th album since 1992. After all of this, longtime fans tend to expect notable creative twists to be pulled by the band with each release, and this one will not disappoint.

This time around, our heroes have issued forth a boldly abstract haunted-house salvo of dizzying surrealism, loaded with exceptionally bizarre sonic tangents. After 2021's blistering and compositionally dense Negative Infinity, FLs leader Weasel Walter decided to take another tack altogether: Instead of making another rehearsal intensive album of tightly scripted action, Terror Iridescence was improvised completely on the spot at Colin Marston's Menegroth studio in Queens, New York on one day in October 2021.

The individual instruments were mic'd up and then, with very little discussion, the ominous 20 minute long "Meredyth Herold" (named after the obscure actress whose utterly jawdropping and singular performance in the 1990 perverto-noir flick "Singapore Sling" mirrors the morbid chaos of the piece) began to unfold. The main concept was to perform in reference to a click track heard only in the headphones, while Mr. Walter molded the structure in real time, cuing each player in or out and giving pointed suggestions. Once it came down to the mixing phase, it was apparent that this click track was actually an integral part of the composition and had to be included in the final mix, whereas the original idea was to mute it completely. As such, this water torture presence is a major element of continuity - an infinitely rising and falling pulse which sometimes dominates, sometimes recedes, but always reminds us of the inevitable.

Beginning with a fuzz-laden bass guitar drone by Tim Dahl, the orchestration strategically morphs and deliberately ebbs and flows in a series of dramatic peaks as various elements are cued in and out. It should be noted that the drum kit and saxophone (played by Sam Ospovat and Matt Nelson, respectively) were both processed live with electronic effects in real-time by the players. What you hear on the record is often a blend of their acoustic sounds and electronic manglings, resulting in a wider, more layered density and tonal palette. It definitely sounds like there's more than five people playing on this thing, as a result. We assure there isn't.

The guitars on the album were performed by both Weasel Walter and Katie Battistoni, reprising the caustic double-headed skronk assault heard previously on Negative Infinity. Is this the Luttenbachers' DOOM album? Maybe. Terror Iridescence is shocking, spacious, linear, dark, sensual and unhurried, all the while maintaining the band's signature intensity and devotion to stark modernism. Come to think of it, this thing just might evoke the overt deconstruction of 1997's Gods of Chaos (released on Skin Graft) to some fans - this sure ain't no "rock" record--It's a cryptic transmission from another dimension.

Track two of two, another 20 minute whopper named in tribute to the recently and tragically departed iconoclast, peer, supporter, and close friend of the band, "Tom Smith" begins in a ritualistic, percolating, insectoid sonic jungle landscape punctuated by varied sonic events and aural wraiths. At one point, an onslaught of shattering glass disturbs any possible hypnosis achieved during the introduction. The entire piece is more episodic overall than the preceding track and contains many sections that contrast distinctively with each other.

'Round about 6 minutes in, a rowdy tutti fanfare of held asymmetrical tone row blasts (alluded to at the very end of "Meredyth Herold", but blown fully wide open on "Tom Smith") kicks everything up into a noxious assault cloud, bolstered by volcanic free drumming by Weasel Walter. After several repetitions of this dramatic series of ordered pitches (the closest this record ever gets to a traditional chord progression), a long series of jump cut sequences takes place, allowing the musicians to show off their distinctive and diverse skill sets in various groupings. There are fright-inducing guitar and saxophone solos, pounding drums, macabre electronics, and more. A very deliberate and extreme tension is maintained, but not in a cliched "free jazz" idiom. The angular, disruptive forms created spontaneously here are brand new, yet obviously belched forth from the good ship Flying Luttenbacher.

By the end, the Terror Iridescence tone row reappears in different forms and orders, reiterating the material for the sake of subliminal coherence. Often in The Flying Luttenbachers music, the listener may not see the exact logic in what happens, but trust us - it's there. One might feel it more than comprehend it, and that's okay. It is guaranteed that the next phase of the band will be something altogether different, but for now, let this bloodcurdling puzzle piece raise the hairs on your neck and make you want to pull the covers over your head. This here record is a good, old-fashioned horror movie in sound. They're coming to get you, Baaaa-barahhhhhh!!!!"-ug EXPLODE


Artist Biographies

"Weasel Walter (real name Walter Wyzowski) is a composer and instrumentalist who founded the band The Flying Luttenbachers in Chicago in 1991 with a current member of Cellular Chaos and Behold...The Arctopus. Over the years, The Flying Luttenbachers included noted Dylan Posa, and Michael Colligan, while creating a body of music drawing equally from no wave, death metal, gamelan, noise music, hardcore punk and modern classical. Walter moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003, where he formed the latest of many Luttenbachers lineups, remaining on percussion with the addition of bassist Mike Green (Burmese), and virtuoso guitarist Ed Rodriguez (ex-Colossamite, Gorge Trio). Singular guitar phenomenon Mick Barr (Krallice, Octis, Orthrelm) joined the group in 2005. The Flying Luttenbachers ceased to operate in late 2007. On November 25, 2009, Weasel Walter announced that he was moving to New York City to join the band Behold... The Arctopus on drums and will be writing "new, more extreme material from scratch." He also formed Cellular Chaos with Marc Edwards (drummer), Admiral Grey and Ceci Moss."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_Walter)
6/19/2024

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

"Tim Dahl is a professional electric and double bass player, vocalist, keyboardist and composer living in New York City. He is best known as the bass player of the noise-rock band Child Abuse and Lydia Lunch's Retrovirus. He also writes and performs for the jazz ensemble Pulverize The Sound.

Dahl has toured extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. He has performed with many notable musicians, composers and performers including Yusef Lateef, Archie Shepp, Eugene Chadbourne, Tatsuya Yoshida, Von Freeman, Stanley Jordan, Mary Halvorson, Malcolm Mooney, Marc Ribot, Brian Chase, Hamid Drake, Elliott Sharp, Weasel Walter, Marni Nixon, Peter Evans, Kevin Shea, Mick Barr, Lydia Lunch, Jan Terri, The Bureau of Atomic Tourism, Ava Mendoza etc.

As a bass player he is notable for unique style and technical savviness. Clifford Allen of Tiny Mixtapes' wrote "Tim Dahl [...] approaches his well-worn axe with a battery of pedals and loops, combining determinate speed with murkier sonics to create a landscape not unlike a harsh, speed-freak variant on Hugh Hopper."

Dahl currently lives in Brooklyn and is an active member in the music scene there."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Dahl)
6/19/2024

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

Katie Battistoni is a New York City guitarist and composer. She is known for her work as Katy the Kyng, and with Flying Luttenbachers.

-Squidco 6/19/2024

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

"Saxophonist Matt Nelson regularly performs in a far-reaching, motley assortment of musical projects. Described as "one of the more unpredictable virtuosos in New York's underground" by Pitchfork, and "genre-bending" by Tiny Mix Tapes, his output often lies in the gray corners beyond categorization.

Upon graduating from the Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied with Gary Bartz and Paul Cohen, Matt moved back to his native Bay Area where he became an active member of the music community. He performed regularly with several bands, among them experimental pop outfit tUnE-yArDs, with whom he recorded and toured extensively in support of their acclaimed album w h o k i l l.

In 2010 Matt relocated to Brooklyn, New York. During his time there he has performed and toured as a member of Battle Trance, GRID, Elder Ones, Premature Burial, Skeletons, and the Weasel Walter Large Ensemble. He also performs as a solo act, where he often utilizes electronics and amplified feedback along with his saxophone, as heard on his record Lower Bottoms. "

-Matt Nelson Website (https://www.mattnelsonsax.com/bio)
6/19/2024

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

"Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, I played piano and sang in boys' choir before picking up my first pair of drumsticks in 5th grade. Late nights spent improvising in friends' parents' basements eventually revealed to me the wisdom of moving to the Bay Area, where I studied percussion with William Winant, Peter Magadini, George Marsh and lately with the Haitian master drummer Daniel Brevil. Recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY, I play drums in Beep, Naytronix, Timosaurus, Passwords (duo with Lorin Benedict), CavityFang, Young Nudist, Enablers and my solo project PIKI. I was lucky to play with Cecil Taylor, Leo Smith, and Maryanne Amacher at Mills College, where I received my MFA in percussion performance. Since then I've worked with Tuneyards, William Winant, The SF Contemporary Music Players, Aram Shelton, Ches Smith, members of Rova Saxophone Quartet, Bill McHenry, Angelica Sanchez, Phillip Greenlief, and Ava Mendoza."

-Sam Ospovat Website (http://www.samospovat.com/#biospovat)
6/19/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Mereydth Herold 21:28

2. Tom Smith 22:19

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Collective Free Improvsation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Quintet Recordings
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
ugEXPLODE.


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