Kuzu: Hiljaisuus


Astral Spirits vinyl / download

On ‘Hiljaisuus’, saxophonist Dave Rempris teams up with guitarist Tashi Dorji and drummer Tyler Damon for a bracing dose of fire and freak out. Dorji and Damon were already a punchy, propulsive unit, and so adding a third element into an already-combustible brew was not without risk. But Rempris slots right in like he’s always been there, adding layers of brassy holler to his new colleagues’ spiky attack.

Occasionally, the combination of Dorji’s wiry atonality and Rempris’ breath driven tumults reminds me of when John Butcher went to-to-toe with Keiji Haino, but with Damon’s restless percussion an integral part of the mix, what could have been an insidious slow burn becomes a white-hot crucible of skronking motion. Organising this record into three longish tracks of unequal length makes ‘Hiljaisuus’ a slightly asymmetrical listening experience. Whether the track lengths and titles were agreed in advance or imposed in a kind or retroactive structuring isn’t immediately clear, although I’m tempted to assume not, given that this crew are, well, improvising and all.

That unevenness gives ‘Hiljaisuus’ an organic, almost impressionistic feel, the trio breezing through their natural lacunae and slowdowns with as much confidence as they ride the energies released when they’re locked together in synergistic abandon. So, when entropy kicks in halfway through ‘Fontanelles 1’, following 10 minutes or so of volcanic blast, there’s no sense of fatigue. Instead the trio recede into silence before Dorji summons everyone back to life. His choppy, aluminium syncopation draws first a quacking, squealing Rempris and then a barrelling, pugilistic Damon slowly back into the slipstream.

Even better is the start of ‘Gash’, Damon vamping on the toms and Dorji coaxing tinny chimes from his guitar as Rempris blows a series of lugubrious honks and dissonant parps. It’s super cool, but increasing momentum makes for a sharp rise in temperature as the trio let rip like a pack of overexcited puppies let loose on a room full of shoes, their unbridled enthusiasm making darn sure that no loafer gets left unchewed.




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