Drummer Bobby Previte's "Mass" is based on heavy electrified rearrangements of 15th century composer Guillaume Dufay's "Missa Sancti Jacobi", performed by The Rose Ensemble, Stephen O'Malley, Don McGreevy, Mike Gamble and Jamie Saft, Marco Benevento, and Reed Mathis.
Mass [VINYL 2 LPs]
Label: Rarenoise Records
Released in: UK
"The idea of infusing a choral classical concerto from the 15th century with the imposing clamor of heavy metal guitars has sprung from the fertile mind of a certain jazz drummer. Missa Sancti Jacobi is a unified mass cycle composed in the 1400's by Guillaume Dufay, a groundbreaking work that represented one of the earliest efforts to bring together all the movements of a polyphonic mass. It's an grand construction rendered just with an 11-voice choir (in this case, the Rose Ensemble conducted by Jordan Sramek) and medieval pipe organ manned by Marco Benevento. But that drummer, Bobby Previte, imagined how much powerful this could be with some present-day amplified guitars.
Indeed, Previte made an album around the idea of taking the term "goth metal" quite literally.
Mass (now on sale via RareNoise Records) is an ambitious, modern re-imagining of Missa Sancti Jacobi, which updates not by extracting all the Middle Age-ness from it, but adding to it with a heavy metal band. That band is anchored by Previte on drums and Reed Mathis on electric bass and by guitars; sometimes many guitars. Stephen O'Malley, mainly, supplemented at various times by Jamie Saft, Don McGreevy, Mike Gamble and Previte himself.
In keeping with Dufay's ancient concept, don't expect many guitar solos, the Zeppelin/Sabbath demon "Offering" excepted. There, the feedback squall of O'Malley and the galloping rhythm of Gamble encounter the solemn harmonies of the Rose Ensemble. Benevento returns with some vengeance for the following "Sanctus," sharing power chords with guitars; the choral parts manage to find its place in the small crevices of space left behind by the cavalcade of organs, drums, bass and a couple of guitars. That Previte figured out how to make it work was perhaps his greatest challenge and his most impressive achievement of this whole venture: bridging a six-century sonic chasm. "Agnus Dei" puts the focus entirely on the voices - the guitars receding entirely - bringing us back to the timeless majesty of intricately layered vocal harmonics.
That 3-song slice of the album demonstrates how Previte selectively pulls the levers at his disposable to alternate bringing some elements to the fore while pushing others to the background, molding the character of each piece in that way. Other instances, as with the opening "Introit," all of these instruments and voices share equal roles, affecting a synthesized sound print that's equally funereal and forceful. Previte is also heard foraging around on his kit, punctuated by vocal incantations.
On the other end of the album is "Communion," where Previte's Farfisa organ blends smoothly with the choral, but Benevento's pipe organ signals abrasiveness ahead confirmed by O'Malley's massively bellowing guitar, that - finally - submerges all signs of antiquity. That is, until Sramek's ensemble unexpectedly reappears at the end, only to be snuffed out for a final time by an over amplified guitar lick.
In the battle between the 1400's and the 2000's, art in the form of uniquely inspired music wins."-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews
• Show Bio for Bobby Previte
"Bobby Previte's first stage appearance came in 1956 at the Niagara Falls Talent Show, where, guitar in hand, and adorned in an over-sized suit, he belted out a solo rendition of Elvis Presley's 'Hound Dog.'
Eight years later, thinking drumming might be a good way to get girls, he fashioned a bass drum from a rusted garbage can, a kick pedal from a wire coat hanger wedged between two pieces of linoleum and a rubber ball stuck on top, tom toms from upside-down trash bins, cymbals from aluminum pie plates suspended on plungers, and a box of loose junk for a snare - then practiced for a year in his dark basement with a lone spotlight shining on him before eventually starting a band, the "Devil's Disciples." But when they finally got a job at the church he was fired for not having 'real' drums. Seeking revenge, he took a job as a paperboy, saved every penny, and a year later bought the drum kit he still uses today in concerts all over the world.
Strolling in the East Village one bright afternoon, he peered inside a limo stuck in traffic (crosstown) and suddenly found himself face to face with Jimi Hendrix. Thinking fast, he unfurled the poster of Jimi he had fortunately just acquired, then looked on in astonishment as Hendrix smiled and flashed him the peace sign.
HISTORY: BA, SUNY Buffalo. Moved to New York City in 1979. Has worked for/with an unlikely array of leading lights including John Adams, Terry Adams, Robert Altman, Johnny Copeland, Lejaren Hiller, Charlie Hunter, Lenny Kaye, John Lurie, Sonny Sharrock, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Tom Waits, Victoria Williams, and, the internet swears Iggy Pop, although he can't seem to remember that, exactly.
AWARDS: Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, Franklin Furnace, The American Music Center, MCAF, Mid Atlantic Arts, NY State Music Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Jerome Foundation.
EVENTS: TERMINALS PART 1, WNYC New Sounds Live/Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall, 2011, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, 2011, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, 2013-2014; DIORAMA, Groundswell/Wave Farm/Olana State Historic Site, 2013; Franklin Furnace/Chashama, 2012, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, 2010; THE 23 CONSTELLATIONS OF JOAN MIRÓ, Winter Garden, New York, 2008; THE SEPARATION, Walker Art Center, 2007; DIALED IN (with Benton-C Bainbridge), Lincoln Center, EMPAC, Eyebeam, 2007; Touring various other bands and projects since 1985 at festivals and clubs worldwide.
RECORDINGS: Sony, Nonesuch, Palmetto, Gramavision, Enja, Thirsty Ear, New World, Ropeadope, Veal, Spacebone, Rare Noise.
MASTER CLASSES: Eastman School of Music, Walker Art Center, Art and Music Omi, Merano Jazz Festival and Academy, So Percussion Summer Institute/Princeton University, Cornish University, Purchase College, Bard College, The New School.
RESIDENCIES: The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Civitella Ranieri, Montalvo Art Center, eleven MacDowell Colony fellowships.
THEATER/DANCE/PERFORMANCE/ART: The Moscow Circus on Broadway, Theodora Skipitares, Andrea Kleine, Clarinda Mac Low, Aynsley Vandenbroucke, Benton-c Bainbridge, e-team.
FILM SCORES: Chain Letters (dir. Mark Rappoport), Maze (dir. Rob Morrow).
ODDITIES: actor, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, "The Mute Marine," w/ William Shatner, 1984; as "The Drummer" in SHORT CUTS - Robert Altman, 1993."-Bobby Previte Website (http://bobbyprevite.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Jamie Saft
"Jamie Saft (piano, organs, analog synthesis, bass and guitar, steel guitars) is a native of Queens, New York. Since returning to New York in 1993, Saft's stylistic versatility, multi-instrumentalist capabilities, and production skills have been featured with the Beastie Boys, Bad Brains, the B-52's, Laurie Anderson, Bobby Previte, John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Jerry Granelli, Holly Palmer, Marc Ribot's Los Cubanos Postisos, Elysian Fields, Black Beatle, Antony and the Johnsons, Chocolate Genius, JoJo Mayer's Nerve, E-Z Pour Spout, Cuong Vu, Chris Speed Trio Iffy, Jane Ira Bloom, and the Groove Collective.
Saft is a mainstay of the downtown scene and a member of bands such as The Beta Popes, Whoopie Pie, Swami LatePlate, The Shakers and Bakers, Kalashnikov, Pramrod Sexena, and John Zorn's Electric Masada.
Saft was the pianist for the New York and Paris premiers of John Adams' opera "I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky" at Lincoln Center and MC93 Bobingy.
Saft has recently composed a number of original film scores and music fortelevision. Recent films scored include the Oscar nominated film"Murderball", Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner "God Grew Tired Of Us",and currently airing HBO documentary "Dear Talula". Saft has alsocontributed score music for Nickelodeon, MTV, and A&E.."-Jamie Saft Website (http://www.jamiesaft.com/html/bio.html)
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• Show Bio for Stephen O'Malley
"Stephen O'Malley (sometimes referred to as SOMA) is a guitarist, producer, composer, and visual artist from Seattle, Washington who has conceptualized and participated in numerous drone doom, death/doom, and experimental music groups (the most notable of which is Sunn O)))).
O'Malley is a founding member of several groups including Sunn O))) (1998-present), Burning Witch (1995-1998), KTL (2005-present), and Khanate (2000-2006). Within these groups and alone, he has collaborated with a variety of artists including Greg Anderson, Merzbow, Eyvind Kang, Alan Moore, Iancu Dumitrescu, Ana-Maria Avram, F.M. Einheit, Randall Dunn, James Plotkin, Julian Cope, Joe Preston, Attila Csihar, Stuart Dempster, Peter Rehberg aka PITA, Lee Dorrian, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Nurse With Wound, the Japanese metal band Boris & Michio Kurihara, Jim O'Rourke, Keiji Haino, Daniel O'Sullivan & Kristoffer Rygg (in the free improvisation act Æthenor together with Steve Noble), Aaron Turner, Oren Ambarchi, Alexander Tucker, and percussionist Z'EV.
O'Malley also produced work together with the French choreographer and theatre director Gisèle Vienne (the pieces "Kindertotenlieder" (2007), "Jerk" (2008), "Eternelle Idole" (2009), This Is How You Will Disappear (2010)), Last Spring: A Prequel (2011), American sculptor Banks Violette (various projects between 2005-2009), the Italian performance artist Nico Vascellari (2007-2011), Swiss art collective KLAT (2009), and the Belgian film maker Alexis Destoop ("Kairos" (2010), with Oren Ambarchi).
O'Malley has directed and produced album cover art and design since the early 1990s for groups including Earth, Burzum, Emperor, Melvins and Boris. He has also worked as a rock/metal music journalist & published a black metal fanzine called Descent in the nineties. He was involved with creation of both the Southern Lord label and the experimental/neofolk/black metal label The Ajna Offensive. In 2011 he began curating and art directing the Ideologic Organ record label, in association with the Viennese Editions Mego.
Although he is originally from Seattle, O'Malley's Web site indicates that he lives in Paris, France."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_O'Malley)
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Shipping Weight: 26.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Label: Rarenoise Records
Catalog ID: RNR072LP
Squidco Product Code: 23207
Format: 2 LPs
Packaging: Double LP in a Gatefold Sleeve
No recording data listed.
Bobby Previte-drums, organ, guitar
Reed Mathis-electric bass
The Rose Ensemble-orchestra
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1. Introit 5:49
2. Kyrie 7:34
3. Gloria 5:09
1. Alleluia 8:09
2. Credo 7:38
1. Offerings 10:08
2. Sanctus 6:53
1. Agnus Dei 5:57
2. Communion 12:05