Table of the Elements continues to celebrate its 15th anniversary with the third installment in its Guitar Series Vols. 3 & 4. Peripatetic composer, performer, improviser, and designer Jon Mueller is a busy guy, and both the rock and experimental music scenes are the richer for it. As a drummer he propels the ecstatic whorl of Collections of Colonies of Bees and the occasional guitar army of Rhys Chatham; alternately his solo project, Metals, is the most harrowingly intense percussive barrage you'll ever encounter. He also finds time to collaborate with artists ranging from Wilco's Glenn Kotche to Swans' Jarboe. Whether it's minimalist bombast, free-improv interplay, or electroacoustic finesse, Mueller's got it covered. But what can he do with a guitar? In Strung, Mueller doesn't play the guitar; he scrambles its molecules.
Laying down a photon-blast of sound, he initiates a relentless, rapid-pulse attack signal that summons wave upon wave of white noise. Think inexorable alien invasion - The Day the Earth Stood Still, with Lou Reed as Klaatu and Metal Machine Music as the message. Earth doesn't stand a chance. "The supremacy of Table of the Elements for the past decade as an unwavering outpost of ultra-experimental strains can be attributed to its concomitant adherence to valiance. Most of the Table of the Elements catalogue has no broad commercial appeal, and many of its projects - scores for films directed by early-60s Conrad associate Jack Smith or a 3xCD box set by an unknown two-guitars-and-drums trio from Atlanta - are risky ventures, even with respect to the experimental marketplace. Yet, this philosophy of risk works because everyone associated with the label feels like they're doing important work releasing important records, and they're willing to go for broke to make it happen." PITCHFORK