Fragmentary harsh jazz duo of Michael Chamy and Nevada Hill (both also in iDi*amin) hailing from Denton, Texas blast intermittently on electric guitar, saxophone, percussion (the work of David Lee Price, a guest for this recording) and electronics for a hair over seventeen minutes on this ornately packaged three-inch CDR. For a reference point, take the reductionist post-jazz stylings of Graveyards, but instead of their minimal lurk/creep substitute a maximalized downtown nightscape. Somehow my mind embeds this ensemble more closely in a standard free-jazz aesthetic than Olson and crew, however never approaching, the epically restrained chamber improv approach. But, I'd rather not speculate on intentions. ?Krakkatowaiakk? opens with group stuttering, blasts of mid-range feedback loosely synchronized with random percussive elements and full-force sax abuse. Midway through the micro-proceedings, space and texture begin to dominate as distant, singular reed wailings provide a loose foundation for ring-modulated guitar warbles and static washes. Electronics abruptly strangle the soundfield at the eleven-minute mark, as if their controller/manipulator suddenly returned to the room. The other players strive to combat this volume surge, swelling to a pounding ruckus before falling gently to simple droning cloud.
On first listen, I found myself favorable to the overall feel of the trio, however the overwhelming nature of the electronics on this recording come off as distracting and out of place. Both overly bright and plastic in texture, their presence tends to sweep up the garage dirt coming from the other players and in turn, remove a great deal of the fire. With that said, due to the relatively high fidelity, they do indeed prove quite forceful. However, considered as a whole, this improvisation rarely points in any direction and the ending provides virtually no resolution other than allowing me to select another record. Only at the very beginning does everyone seem locked in and focused. To give credit where it is due, the sax playing on this, while not shattering any mold, does indeed shred. Fantastic work on that front.
While not everything necessarily needs to be judged against the canon, nothing here breaks new ground. But on the other hand, nothing offends or indicates a lack of talent or potential vision on down the road. I'm neither repelled or consumed; for the sake of time and space, I'll just consider this an average outing for the genre. So if we just think this just a one-off recording from a young improv group, then I should say it shows room for growth. On any given night, I would welcome an opportunity to listen to another release, or better yet, catch a performance to assess how their live incantations resonate.
Those up on modern free-jazz of the basement variety should probably give this a shot to see if they disagree with me. 6/10 -- Brandon Miller (14 November, 2007)