Published Nov 09, 2016After performing on stage together in 2012 at New York's Ecstatic Music Festival, fellow rock experimentalists Oneida and Rhys Chatham joined forces to create a collaborative LP that comes off even more eclectic and exploratory than one would expect.
Working off of the Brooklyn five-piece's dense use of repetition and the Paris-based musician's penchant for loose, freeform guitar expressionism, What's Your Sign? does a terrific job of mining what makes each entity so beloved within the experimental music scene. Though many would postulate that the world-class drumming of Oneida's Kid Millions would be the key to holding these six tracks together, it's actually the triple-guitar threat of Chatham, Hanoi Jane and Showtime that provide the Sonic Youth-esque "Well Tuned Guitar (Oneida Version)," post-rock builder "A. Philip Randlop at Back Bay Station" and the free-jazz closer "Civil Weather" with their senses of personality and adventurousness.
Fortunately, only the album opener, the grunge-tinged "You Get Brighter" (the only track to feature vocals) is their only real misstep, as the sleek and precise playing from these six musicians is traded in for ham-fisted bellicosity. On What's Your Sign?, Oneida and Rhys Chatham show that sometimes the most obvious collaborations are the ones that end up surprising you the most. (Northern Spy)