Broken Record Chamber Free Improv For Robots

Pretty much the first thing one hears in "Chopsticks," the opening track from Free Improv For Robots, is a grainy recording of the instructional piano song. Fortunately, after about 15 seconds "Chopsticks" dissolves into electronic cacophony. BRC's bio states that they formed after witnessing an Otomo Yoshihide concert in Vancouver, which speaks volumes about their approach. Unlike Yoshihide and Toronto's Rust Brothers, BRC's method is more electronic manipulation than crazed turntablism. Pitch-shifted samples and heavily fed-back delays are the order of the day. The turntable contributions of Jess Conn-Potegal are effective in this setting, highlighting the specific quality of sound that only vinyl manipulation can produce. Jim Black's guitar work is inventive as well. His fractured and deeply processed playing never gives the sense that he is merely soloing on top of beats (or lack thereof). The second half of Free Improv for Robots is recorded live and the group's approach changes from improvisation-plus-editing to the deconstruction of seemingly simple, even groove-oriented ideas. BRC are creative and humorous with both sonic collages and beats. (Spool)