Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jason Crumer - Disqualifier

For those keeping up with modern experimental music has heard of Jason Crumer and his album "Ottoman Black". I will be reviewing (before i move without bringing my record player) his latest effort I received from a friend (thanks Jonathan Spencer!)

I was actually fortunate enough to watch J Crumer do a collab set with Joseph Hammer. Aside from everyone being on drugs and hindering a lot of comfort from the two playing, it was an amazing set.

Looking at this record, everything is black from the vinyl to the sleeve and the cover. The cover has the name, title, and credits while the back has nothing. Very interesting. I personally like the packaging.

Side A begins with "Mom Pix" which, judging by the grooves is one of the longest tracks on this side. The album begins with some sort of drone with light static (either from the record itself or the music). If you pay very close attention, the drone shifts and changes vey slowly. This is best taken in with the eyes closed or under some sort of inebriation. The volume appears to pick up as well.

"Clijo's Arrival" meshes into the previous track but there appears to be another layer of sound that really accentuates the main drone. Weird sounds come in that would come from an old horror movie. Its am almost stressful listening to this as is sounds like at any moment, something will jump out in front of you.

"Rendezvous At Big Gulch" begins with different sounds if static and clopping from what appears to be the sound horse hooves. This track really begins to pick the album up. The track becomes more harsh as it "trots" on by.

"Wellsley's Philosophy" is an altogether track from the previous ones. I hear soundclips and numerous different sounds. Everything on this track is very precise and has its own separate part. The track ends ominously and fades away.

"Most Dangerous Man" is the last track on this side and partially live based on the credits of the release. There are random bits of noise with a constant beeping sounds. Im very intrigued on where a lot of these textures come from. There is a definite submerged vibe to this track.

Side B begins with "Functional Dance" and starts out super harsh. The beeping continues from the last track but is accentuated with clanging and reeling sounds along with others until more bursts of noise becomes relevant.

"Eaten, Not Awed" comes in immediately afterwards and is one of the harshest tracks yet along with some obvious ambience in the mix. Faint bits of feedback as well.

A minute bit of silence cues the next track for "Clio And Wessley" which has more apparent ambient sounds tied in with static lower in the mix. The static fades and so do most other sounds and we are taken on another suspenseful journey musically until all sounds fade.

"Start Again" appears to be one of the longer tracks as well and starts off very quiet. To me, this sounds like minute feedback manipulation mixed in with ambient sounds. A listener can easily be driven into a self-assessment until the trumpets and horns come in. More instruments key in as the track progresses and has a nice jazz vibe to boot. I begin to hear a sort of rattling sounding akin to bones. Also some faint drumming near the end.

The title track and the final track continues with drumming, rattling, and overall ambience, but much more daunting than before. The listener can feel small listening to this track as it id very indifferent and vast. Sounds build and build and bend and appear and disappear and intertwine until the album is over.

Even though I really enjoyed this album, this review unfortunately does not do its justice. There is so much more to this album than what I can come up with words.

Jason Crumer is truly a master in the craft and as I know how much time and money it takes to press vinyl, I strongly urge you to buy a copy instead of "file share" on soulseek or whatever you use. You can't enjoy watching a spinning guillotine from side B on mp3 format.

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