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Monday, September 2, 2013

Pet Bottle Ningen - Non-Recyclable (Tzadik 2013)

The Tzadik Catalogue.

I've been thinking a lot about this record as I sit here trying to absorb it and maybe enjoy it. I'm struggling a bit with the second option and so thinking why this is. Lets start with the type of music here, this is a slightly different combination of Guitar, Sax and Drums and the music is a sort of Avant Rock cum Jazz. Quite messy and chaotic with little in the way of catchy melody or conventional song structure. A sort of free rock. These guys are from the New York Downtown scene and I guess from what I have heard from that scene, which has been going for something like 40 odd years now, this is kinda run of the mill stuff. I believe the one quite important aspect of the NY Downtown scene is improvisation and people like John Zorn have been doing stuff like this for almost as long as the scene has been around. This music sounds quite familiar to me now and reminds me of stuff I explored 20 years ago(Some Zooge Rift comes to mind and others I can't quite pinpoint right now and of course Zorn himself) and also is along similar lines to our mate at nuvoid Blog, Richard Coleman, and his early 90s band UYA. Then there is the Sun Ra aspect to this music and some of the more chaotic stuff reminds me of his music although the young lady on Sax, while blowing some wild stuff and sounds a little like Zorn in places, really is no John Gilmore or Zorn. So while I don't object to this type of music(I mean I now own vast catalogues of Sun Ra and John Zorn), I am finding this release mostly uninspiring and mostly unoriginal. There are some interesting moments in the set where they do something slightly different and pull it off but overall this just sounds like another wall of noise that has all been done before much better by others. These guys have talent and are capable and no doubt love the music and the Downtown scene, so now they just have to make their own unique statement within that arena and there are hints of that here but for now I can only rate this 2/5. 

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