Friday, November 4, 2011

The Spanish Donkey, "XYX", Joe Morris, Jamie Saft, and Mike Pride

There are organ trios who do what you'd expect in some kind of Jimmie Smith mode. Then there is the Spanish Donkey and their XYX (Northern Spy 009), which is NOT your ordinary trio! It's Joe Morris on guitar, Jamie Saft on keys (and bass guitar) and Mike Pride on drums. What they play is some very engaging super-outside music. If you know Joe Morris's guitar work, you will not be surprised. Yet this is trio freedom with a very thickly textured electronic noise element that goes beyond what Joe usually does. Jamie Saft gets all manner of sound clusters and noisy sustains on the synth keys, Mike Pride plays out of time hefty drums and Joe Morris turns in some of his best work ever. The backdrop that the Spanish Donkey provides seems to stimulate him into an admirable frenzy of note clusters, bends and electric skronk-shreds that get pretty wild.

This is a group effort however--and so the total sound is always an out-front thing. It's heavy music, thick-textured free psychedelics and it is something that once you put it on, you cannot ignore. It will be heard! You either surrender to their web of sounds or you play something else. And really, isn't that the true purpose of getting music for your world? There's no half-heard cocktail party backdrop function that would work for XYX!

What it is is a flat-out blast of fire. It's wonderfully envigorating, like an abrupt dip into an icy stream after several hours in an Indian Sweat House.

Nab this album and you'll be getting a passport to the outer realms of noise-space. Some of the most extreme, but also some of the very best sort of outness!

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