The 7th album from the quartet of Netherlands guitarists Andy Moor and Terrie Hessels (The Ex) with Chicago free improvising multi-reedist Ken Vandermark and Netherlands drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love in an album balancing amazing energy with profound introspective moments in thrilling edge-of-your-seat improvisation - excellent!
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Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 149CD
Squidco Product Code: 24035
Packaging: Cardstock foldover w/ screen printed cover
Recorded at The electric Monkey Studios, in Amsterdam, Holland, on September 15th, 2015, by Kasper Frenkel.
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1. Costal Surface 7:25
2. Margo Inferior 4:43
3. Groove For Sub Clavian Vein 14:43
4. Oblique Fissure 5:37
5. Pleural Lobe 4:18
6. Cardiac Impression 4:22
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sample the album:
"Lean Left is an inspired combination of guitarists Andy Moor and Terrie Hessels from the legendary Dutch punk band The Ex with free jazz luminaries Ken Vandermark on saxophones and clarinet and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums. This is their seventh album together, and it was recorded in Amsterdam in 2015, beginning with "Coastal Surface" which opens with heavy grinding as all of the band's gears engage in a very cool fashion.
This is a high impact balls to the wall conflagration, pushing the music to the outer limits before they pull back to allow some open space leading to a delightfully skewed portion of extended techniques then to a graceful conclusion. "Margo Inferior" has some rattling and clanking percussion with squeaks and pops which turns into a budding collective improvisation that is fast and forceful. The juxtaposition of the fast, hard exciting section and the open spaced areas comes forth like an invitation to dance.
The epic "Groove for Sub Clavian Vein" is the centerpiece of the recording beginning with probing saxophone and guitar zig-zagging through the available space. They begin to slash and burn at a boisterous high volume which has an exhilarating impact. The music is wide open and unpredictable, moving massive blocks of sound becoming alarming and imposing while still thrilling the listener with strong pummeling drumming that keeps everything focused as Nilssen-Love builds a creative solo from his cymbals inward. There's a dynamic downshift for electronics and then Vandermark's blazing saxophone re-enters creating a thick sound that charges forward making a full band improvisation that is exciting and well articulated before moving to a quieter more nuanced conclusion.
The spacious and abstract vibe is continued on "Oblique Fissure" beginning with choppy guitar and muddy saxophone then developing gradually to a stark and potent collective improvisation which kicks and tears at the firmament with spring loaded intensity bursting forth with dizzying excitement. "Pleural Lobe" has some alarming and imposing sounds, with music that opens and closes like breathing. Shards of electric guitar and percussion leading to a scalding improvisation that is unpredictable and exciting.
album closes with "Cardiac Impression" which takes abstract sounds and builds them into a powerful improvisation that takes the band to an over the top finish. This was another excellent album from this band, their first new release in three years. Hopefully this will rekindle the excitement in this group, leading to more performances and albums."-Tim Nieland, Music & MoreAlso available on vinyl LP.
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• Show Bio for Paal Nilssen-Love
"Paal Nilssen-Love was born in Molde, Norway, Dec 24. 1974, and raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his parents. It was natural to choose his fathers drums as his instrument and jazz as his work. From 1990 on he took actively part in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. In many ways, these collaborations were essential as they pointed out the directions for Paal's later musical development and career. During his studies at the Jazz dept at the University in Trondheim, where the first self initiated bands were established, things developed really fast - and Paal was nationally acknowledged at the age of 20.
The forming of the quartet Element in 1993 in many ways represented the start of a new phase in Paal's musical life. Element musically became a platform for several other groups with bassist Flaten and pianist Wiik, and lead to collaborations with Iain Ballamy and Chris Potter, amongst others. Paal moved to Oslo in 1996, where he joined and/or took part in the forming of bands like Vindaloo, SAN, Håkon Kornstad Tio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio. He later on got more into self initiated projects and collaborations with Swedish musicians, such as pianist Sten Sandell and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.
Paal played his first solo concert in 1999, and since then the solo concept has been an important part of his work: "Everyone should try doing some solo work, just to feel who you really are and what gets you going". His solo album "Sticks and stones" was put out in 2001 on SOFA Rec.
Being active in several bands at the same time has always been Paal's deliberate working method. He is constantly conscious about the projects he is in, as his participation in each and one of them is fully dedicated. Playing is not about getting from start to goal, but rather being in an everlasting process, a continuous movement where each new piece of music performed is a prolongation of the latest. Hence, keeping focused and concentrating all energy around what's happening there and then is of greatest importance - as is the freedom in the music, the ability of being free within the expression.
All bands, although various styles and musical versatility in general, represent important pieces that make up a total, and all bands are formed or joined with a clear vision. Today Paal's portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. And not to forget the recently joined Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet."-Paal Nilssen-Love Website (http://www.paalnilssen-love.com/biography.php)
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• Show Bio for Terrie Hessels
"Terrie Hessels, AKA Terrie Ex, is an improvising guitarist from the Netherlands. In addition to his work as an improviser, he's a founding member of the iconic Dutch punk band The Ex. Terrie founded the Terp label to document the work of Ethiopian musicians as well as his own improvising projects."-Catalytic Sound (http://catalyticsound.com/artist.php?id=4)
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• Show Bio for Andy Moor
"Andy Moor [aka Andy Ex] (born 1962) began his musical life in Edinburgh, Scotland playing guitar with Dog Faced Hermans, an eclectic group that mixed post-punk energy with traditional tunes and improvisations. In 1990 he moved to the Netherlands after an invitation to join Dutch band The Ex. In 1995 he began another group, Kletka Red with Tony Buck Joe Williamson and Leonid Soybelman, fusing traditional klezmer, Greek and Russian songs with their own styles of playing.
Moor's own background is rooted in the post-punk Britain of the 1980s, but in more recent years he has collaborated with many musicians from varied backgrounds and disciplines. Many of these collaborations are duos, with amongst others Cypriot composer Yannis Kyriakides with whom he performs a set of rebetika songs (urban Greek tunes from the 1920s and 1930s), French sound poet Anne James Chaton, ex bass player from Dog Faced Hermans Colin Mclean, who now works with electronic music and live sampling, Brooklyn-based DJ, producer and writer DJ /rupture, and Lebanese Paris-based saxophonist Christine Abdelnour.
Moor has also begun composing soundtracks for films, working former Dog Faced Hermans vocalist-turned filmmaker Marion Coutts, with Iranian filmmaker Bani Khoshnoudi and US experimental filmmaker Jem Cohen. His latest projects include a quartet with Ken Vandermark, Terrie Ex and Paal Nilssen-Love called Lean Left, a trio with Berlin-based artists and musician Alva Noto and Anne James Chaton called Decade, and a trio project with Anne James Chaton and Thurston Moore called Heretics. In 2013 he began a duo project with John Butcher. Moor lives in Amsterdam at present and continues to be a full-time member of The Ex. He is a founding member of the music label Unsounds, in Amsterdam, with Yannis Kyriakides and Isabelle Vigier."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Moor_(The_Ex))
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• Show Bio for Ken Vandermark
"Born in Warwick, Rhode Island on September 22nd, 1964, Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16. Since graduating with a degree in Film and Communications from McGill University during the spring of 1986, his primary creative emphasis has been the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. In 1989, he moved to Chicago from Boston, and has worked continuously from the early 1990's onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley). His current activity includes work with Made To Break, The Resonance Ensemble, Side A, Lean Left, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy; in addition, he is the music director of the experimental Pop band, The Margots. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In addition to the tenor sax, he also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone. In 1999 he was awarded the MacArthur prize for music."-Ken Vandermark Website (http://kenvandermark.com/2013/10/made-to-break-biography/)
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