HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

13 February 2015

Flying Luttenbachers - 'Destroy All Music' (Bourgeois / Elevated Chimp / ugEXPLODE)

I used to think of the Flying Luttenbachers and that whole Weasel Walter scene as some sort of 'death jazz', made the more extreme by his silly makeup and releasing albums with titles like Destroy all Music. Which makes this listen, a good ten+ years since the last one, so surprising - this is really quite goddamn musical. This is an earlier, more jazz-based lineup of Walter's ever-shifting ensemble and it's really just descended from the New York school of spazzy fusion improv, John Zorn and Massacre, Bill Laswell, etc. Despite the presence of Ken Vandermark, Dylan Posa's guitar is what really drives this (as well as Walter's strangely light touch on the drumset). 'Demonic Velocities/20,000 Volts' opens up the record with a pretty straight-up blueprint of what we'll get - tooting reeds, bumpy electric bass, and sheets of noisy guitar that is mixed low enough that everything else gets to breathe and find space. When Posa gets crazy strumming and picking the bridge, it works well with the chaos ('The Necessary Impossibility of Determinism' being one such example) but really, this is a pretty damn composed record. There's a joy throughout this, a real spirit of living despite the violent sonorities, suggesting that this is really a bunch of softies having a play at being extreme. The chops are undeniable, and when it drops into more traditional jazz swinging ('Tiamat En Arc') the inevitable descent into guitar noise feels integrated rather than sarcastic. Listening to this is fun, and not at all annoying which is how I remember later records like Revenge sounding. The final cut maybe is a preview of that direction, but in a small dosage, it's pretty fun. The synths add a nice touch as well, a bit of a Sun Ra Atlantis vibe (on 'Verlag Aus Den "Turbo Scratcher"'). I just watched Whiplash and decided I hate 'jazz', so this picked up my spirits somewhat. They aren't destroying anything, just creating something ephemeral and alive

No comments:

Post a Comment