Published May 21, 2019John Zorn's longtime engineer, Marc Urselli, had the idea to bring together three musicians who have never worked together for a single day recording session in his New York studio. The resulting album finds Urselli teamimg up with ex-Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, Hungarian session drum Balázs Pándi (Merzbow, Venetian Snares) and famed director/sometimes no wave musician Jim Jarmusch.
Recorded in the middle of a mid-Atlantic winter, and with song titles that reference Norse mythology ("Bergelmir," "Groa"), Lee Ranaldo/Jim Jarmusch/ Marc Urselli/ Balázs Pándi undoubtedly found inspiration within its icy, barren fields of sound. Over three tracks and 38 minutes on vinyl (or five tracks and 52 minutes on CD), the four artists keep things fluid, sonically contained and well-sequenced without ever having to fall into locked grooves.
Ranaldo and Jarmusch's guitars reverberate off one other perfectly, without either ever having to take the lead, allowing Pándi to masterfully explore the open spaces with his sputtered drum sound. But it's Urselli, Ranaldo and Jarmusch's electronic flourishes that gives this album its true character, as synth lines, guitar pedals and errant effects pop in and out of the drone meditation, used sparingly enough to add a novel element to the album.
Lee Ranaldo/Jim Jarmusch/ Marc Urselli/ Balázs Pándi is an egoless collection of ideas from four musicians who sound like they've been working together for an eternity. (Trost)