RESTOCKED: A bizarre love triangle strung between the Baltimore noise scene, contemporary electronics and the New York jazz world, Instant Coffee play improvised music which spontaneously assembles itself into ‘song’ shapes that blossom, catch fire, explode and distort in ways that are unpredictable and disorienting.
A trio comprised of Lisle Ellis, M. C., Schmidt and Jason Willett, the band members boast some unusually chequered pasts. Lisle Ellis in one of the foremost bassists in modern jazz, and having played with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Fred Frith and John Zorn, he’s now exploring the electroacoustic combination of traditional jazz techniques with realtime computer processing. M. C. Schmidt has been one half of the conceptually oriented electronic provocateurs Matmos since 1997, and has made music with Bjork, the Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley and Zeena Parkins; in this band he plays a perverse array of percussive objects and many recalcitrant synthesizers. Jason Willett is a Baltimore veteran of avant and “out” music both on the fringes of rock and noise; he has been in too many bands to mention, but was a longtime member of Half Japanese and collaborator with Jad Fair, and also plays in harsh free noise ensembles such as Leprechaun Catering. In these sessions, Jason plays contact-mic-ed rubber band and an improbable cluster of custom electronics created by noted Baltimore instrument maker Peter B.
You would expect the results to fall into a Bermuda Triangle between jazz, electronic music and noise, but in fact Instant Coffee’s sound rages further afield: unexpectedly lovely ambience, murky Italian movie soundtracks, humid mirages of drone that take sharp turns towards rhythm, and a closing brush with mittel-European mournful lyricism. There are no noodly solos and no tedious, predictably looped “grooves”: this music stakes itself on a casually surreal series of “dissolves” from one form to another.
Edition of 380 copies with hand printed coffee front cover.