The Squid's Ear Magazine


Titan to Tachyons (Gates / Dunn / Grohowski / Hollenberg): Vonals (Tzadik)

Led by West Coast-based New Zealand guitarist Sally Gates, the 2nd album from this genre-blurring heavy improv band of original members Matt Hollenberg on the 6-string bass VI and Kenny Grohowski on drums, now officially a quartet with prior guest bassist Trevor Dunn a fourth member, here in 6 tracks that shred and weave intricate layers of jazz, rock, blues and metal.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Trevor Dunn-Bass

Sally Gates-Guitar

Kenny Grohowski-Drums

Matt Hollenberg-Bass VI


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UPC: 702397404125

Label: Tzadik
Catalog ID: CD-TZA-4041
Squidco Product Code: 32457

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Born in New Zealand and now residing in New York, Sally Gates is a powerful young guitarist with a striking compositional vision. Expanding her instrumental trio into a quartet with the addition of bassist extraordinaire Trevor Dunn, Vonals takes another step forward into rhythmic and melodic complexity. Pounding grooves, hypnotic riffs, and plenty of fiery solos make this her strongest statement to date. Surrealistic science fiction meets the worlds of metal and improvisation in this searing instrumental masterpiece."-Tzadik



"Two years ago Titan to Tachyons put themselves on the map with a stellar debut, and now they return with an expanded lineup and yet another compelling release. A true genre-blending outfit led by guitarist Sally Gates, on Vonals the group fuses technical metal, prog rock, jazz, blues, and generally heavy weirdness across 45 minutes.

Joining Gates are prior bandmates Matt Hollenberg on bass VI and Kenny Grohowski on drums. Trevor Dunn, who guested on bass for one track on the last go-around, is a full member this time. Hollenberg and Grohowski are two-thirds of John Zorn's Simulacrum and half of Zorn's Chao Magick, while Dunn has collaborated with Zorn on at least a dozen releases. Nonetheless, while Titan to Tachyons exhibits the occasional Zorn-ism, its sound is largely driven by Gates. She is a muscular player who combines heavy riffing with blues-oriented soloing and an understated lyricism that bleeds into abstraction. Indeed, her melodies and themes are memorable, bursting with ideas that dance about the angular / catchy and inside / outside axes.

Hollenberg and Dunn both taking on bass duties adds a unique flavor to Vonals. Particularly, the bass VI is a six-string bass that is tuned like a guitar but an octave lower. Hollenberg plays it both like a guitar and a bass, which allows him to counterpoint Gates, Dunn, or both. In addition, the three guitars can combine into a massive wall of sound or delicate interlocking rhythms. And lest we forget, Grohowski is a creative monster on the drum kit.

All of this adds up to another brilliant piece of work from Gates and company. In short, if you appreciate the first Titan to Tachyons album, Vonals should be a no-brainer. It will be released on September 16 by Tzadik Records. "-Mike, Avant Music News


Get additional information at Avant Music News

Artist Biographies

"About Trevor Dunn

1968: born traversing a fine line between hippies and rednecks behind the redwood curtain. first musical affinities: the beach boys, blondie, cheap trick, kiss. first television: ultraman, speedracer, bugs bunny. first films: over the edge, the mouse and his child, snoopy come home, bedknobs & broomsticks. first books: zylpha keatly snyder's witches of worm, the velvet room and the headless cupid.

1977: began studies on clarinet

1981: began studies on electric bass and subsequently quit the clarinet as i realized that girls would now talk to me.

1986: the same year that Lynch's blue velvet and Slayer's reign in blood were released, graduated from EHS. the school's motto: "pigs live in litter, loggers live in pride". started a band called Mr. Bungle. then i got a job at shakey's pizza. began classical technique studies on the contrabass.

1990: graduated from humboldt state university after studying the likes of harry partch, iannis xenakis, alban berg, igor stravinksy, gustav mahler, js bach, you know, all the cats. Also performed Koussevitsky's Concerto for Double Bass with the HSO.

1992: first Mr. Bungle record released on Warner Bros. Moved to SF and two months later embarked on the first MB tour of the US. At the age of 24 I was one of the oldest people in the van. For the next eight years played lots of weddings and restaurants between tours with MB. Learned a lot about music playing with Connah, Goldberg, Schott, Kavee, Amendola, Greenlief, et al.

2000: relocated to Brooklyn, NYC.

Currently playing in various projects under the direction of John Zorn (Nova Quartet, Dreamers, Electric Masada, Aleph Trio). The Nels Cline Singers, Curtis Hasselbring's New Mellow Edwards, Melvins Lite, Endangered Blood, Tomahawk, The Darius Jones Quartet & Erik Friedlander's Bonebridge. I still have plans for my own bands: trio-convulsant, PROOF Readers and MadLove; and I continue to write music for independent films, practice long tones, pine over Daisy Lowe and drink shitty beer in heavy metal saloons."

-Trevor Dunn Website (http://www.trevordunn.net/biography.html)
2/26/2024

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

"Sally Gates is a New Zealand musician and composer based in New York. Her avant-rock trio, Titan to Tachyons recently released their second album Vonals through John Zorn's Tzadik records. Received to excellent critical acclaim, Vonals was included in Spin's Best Metal of September 22, and was said to "harness virtuosity...with an enticingly organic fluidity" by The Wire.

This year's recipient of the Wellington Jazz Festival Composer Commission, Gates returned home to premiere her piece Thought & Terraform for solo guitar at the Wellington Opera House, and booked a series of other performances around the country.

A versatile musician with "slinky, avant-noir guitar work", Gates often curates performances in NYC with various improvisational music groups, most notably as a 'secret guest' in a John Zorn ensemble. Other recent collaborators have included Zoh Amba, Brian Chase, Greg Fox, and Sam Ospovat.

Before relocating to New York, Gates released original music with the Miami progressive-metal band Orbweaver, and toured throughout the US, Canada, and New Zealand with other acts such as Gigan, Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky, and Relentless Attrition."

-Sally Gates Website (https://www.sallygates.com/)
2/26/2024

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

"Brought up in a musical household in Miami, 29-year-old drummer, Kenny Grohowski has been performing since the age of 14. His rich musical background is demonstrated through the growing list of his collaborators and guest artists, including Vernon Reid, Corey Unger (of Blood Has Been Shed), Emeline Michel, Peter Cincotti, Jorge Sylvester, Bobby Sanabria, Bill T. Jones, Rory Stuart, Cassandra Wilson, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz, Giovanni Hidalgo, John Benitez, Francis Mbappe, Domingo Quinones, and Bobby Valentin.

Grohowski has been a member of bassist Lonnie Plaxico's band since 2003, and a member of Andy Milne's Dapp Theory since 2006, having come back from a successful US/Canada tour with Dapp Theory, with Highlight shows in Vancouver opening for Jazz and Bass legend, Stanley Clarke, and performed in the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards Live from Madison Square Garden with the award winning group RBD. He has appeared on several recordings, including Plaxico's hit "So Alive" [Sony, Japan]. As of 2009, Grohowski has become a new member of acclaimed Haitian singer/cultural figure Emeline Michel's Accoustic Quintet, and has also performed at the Museum of Modern Art with the Ze Luis Quartet as part of their Live Art performances. Grohowski has also toured across the United States, South America, and Europe, as well as in Australia and China with New Classical Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (a.k.a. DBR). Kenny has also performed regularly with acclaimed bassist Felix Pastorius and his group since 2010, performing regularly at such New York City venues as Zinc Bar and The 55 Bar. Recently, Grohowski has written and recorded for Grammy Award winning Producer and Arranger Victor "Papo" Ortiz on the album "Eres Santo".

When not working with his various affiliated ensembles, Grohowski enjoys a steady and fast paced Free lancing schedule, working with many of New York City's top Jazz, Rock, and Brazilian artists, as well as a multitude of others, and has recorded on over 40 albums. [...]"

-Kenny Grohowski Website (http://kennygrohowski.com/about/)
2/26/2024

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

Guitarist Matt Hollenberg was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a member of iNFiNiEN, Cleric, Cetus, and has performed with John Frum. He studied Liberal arts at Community College of Philadelphia, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

-Matt Hollenberg Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/matt.hollenberg.5/about?lst=1389755694%3A815073819%3A1510010637§ion=education&pnref=about)
2/26/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Neutron Wrangler 8:34

2. Vacuum Symmetry 9:08

3. Critical Paranoia 7:51

4. Wax Hypnotic 9:41

5. Close the Valve & Wait 1:59

6. Blue Thought Particles 8:14

Related Categories of Interest:

Tzadik

Rock and Related
Jazz
Improvised Rock
Progressive Rock
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Quartet Recordings
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New in Improvised Music
New in Rock Forms
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Tzadik.


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