Published Nov 21, 2019It's not often that a contemporary work presents such a seamless integration of so many elements in such an inspired fashion. exclusiveOR (Sam Pluta and Jeff Snyder) collide their electronics with the acoustic interventions of the International Contemporary Ensemble (Peter Evans and Nate Wooley, trumpet; Ryan Muncy, saxophones; Weston Olencki. trombone; and Ross Karre, percussion) alongside Architeuthis Walks on Land's Amy Cimini (viola) and Katherine Young (bassoon).
The result is an album-length work of improvisation and composed music tracked in terms of pieces and improvisations. What is so satisfying and inspired about this work is how the different events coincide. Some of the pieces are quite evidently compositions, as they exhibit a thorough mapping of contrapuntal melody rhythm and harmony through noise, as well as notes, and employ minimalist grids as well as lyrical movement.
The connective tissue, however, is improvisation, as the compositions are heavily laced with it, giving the purely improvised sections a kind of springboard for their own attention to the character of the music. This is a compliment to both the compositional as well as the improvisational talents of all involved.
In terms of the feel, one could just as easily be walking in busy downtown traffic, fixing the plumbing or attending a meth-fuelled bebop gig or a wobbly microtonal classical concert. Wherever it may take you, it does so with panache, rigour and a really high degree of virtuosity. (Carrier Records)