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Gordon Grdina, Jim Black

Martian Kitties (Tape)

Label: Astral Spirits

Format: Tape

Genre: Jazz

In stock


This outstanding set of improvised pieces by the guitarist/oud player Gordon Grdina and the drummer Jim Black, bristles with multi-genre paradoxes and incredible articulations. Recording together for the second time (after Grdina's Nomad Trio's debut album), these lads bring lots to the table with their faultless synergy and love for the avant-jazz, prog-rock, indie electronic and world music. 

Things get down to business immediately with "Martian Kitties", the track that gave the album its title, which pairs down an incisive krautrock rhythm with noise-rock, two ingredients that always go well together. The density is momentarily decongested through spacious effects before the reinstatement of the zest via torqued high-pitched ostinatos and walloping drumming.  The next piece, "A Monkey Could Do It", changes dialects into an avant-fusion where an extraordinary oud rhythm functions properly over the mutating abrasions of wood on metal and skin provided by Black, an authentic guru of the rhythm. 

"Buggy Whip" is dark and sinister, with heavy electric guitar and taut drum in a confluence that seems to join the doom metal of Paradise Lost and the noise-rock of Lightning Bolt. Totally different is "Conservative Conservation", which takes us into a journey crystallized by beauty and tension alike. This is created by Black's unpredictable and highly syncopated fluxes and Grdina's full-of-feeling oud peregrination.  Pieces that are short in duration (clocking in at less than two minutes) provide a panoply of otherworldly atmospheres - "Black Lodge" exudes a classical-inspired etherealness; "Weird Funk" is made of unhinged smears of odd beat, crushing guitar and sampling; "Social Scene 1 and 2" trench on ambient electronic while adding some wistful tones; "Short Scale" has visceral oud playing laid atop a muscular rhythm; and "Fuzzy Goats" takes you to a psychedelic trip.  The creativity of both is discernible, and "Abercrombie" exemplifies that in perfection during its two phases - firstly, by sporting bowed cries over a dark, noisy electronic texture, and then by underscoring the narrative with a menacing rumble that comes from offbeat drum gushes and cyclic guitar lines.  This is adventurous music by two idiosyncratic players who have excellent results by joining their own visions."-Filipe Freitas, Jazz Trail

Cat. number: AS152
Year: 2021

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