issue 21 :: March 2012

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Review: nmperign / Jason Lescalleet

Love Me Two Times CD (Intransitive Recordings)

I had the good fortune to see this trio (nmperign is Bhob Rainey on soprano sax and Greg Kelley on trumpet) perform a very intimate set earlier this year. The music was made up highly controlled long tones from the wind instruments which Lescalleet would catch and “sample” with a couple of different mics and a disemboweled tape recorder, which he could slow or distort by pulling the tape out as it passed the playback head. It was all very austere but I wouldn't call it polite. In fact there was a menacing quality even at its prettiest, layering in controlled feedback and other aurally confusing frequencies.
This double disc collection presents fairly similar material to a degree but it is over two hours of disturbed and bizarre tracks, ranging from improvised drones to tape cut-ups to tortured near-noise segments and hushed white noise patterns, running anywhere from 45 seconds to over 20 minutes. There is a definite sense of playfulness in the music but it is neither jazz nor pure improv. Maybe think “Silence of the Lambs” if produced by Jan Svankmajer? In fact the inner sleeve offers nothing more than the track titles and a small photo of Fred Rogers holding his King Friday XIII doll next to disc 1, a small photo of Julia Childs next to disc 2, and a large grainy photo of two old men about to get into a fist fight. This is truly psychedelic music. If you're in the mood for a dark trip it doesn't get much better than this, live or on record.
Review by Jacob Green, a musician and film lover living in Austin, Texas. Photo by Vanessa Rossetto.
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