Bring Us Some Honest Food
Pressed on 180-gram vinyl; housed in Dancing Wayang's customary hand-screenprinted wrap-around sleeve featuring a bold potato-print design by the label's own Anna Tjan. Exclusive liner notes courtesy of Tom Recchion (Smegma, Los Angeles Free Music Society). Dancing Wayang is thrilled to release Bring Us Some Honest Food, a collaboration between Argentine guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Alan Courtis and Brooklyn-based British drummer Aaron Moore. Recorded at London's Fish Factory Studio in 2014, it sees both musicians explore sounds and instruments far beyond their regular guitar and drums setups, utilizing anything from grand piano and balafon to metal lampshades and wooden staircases. Courtis (formerly Anla Courtis) co-founded Argentine power trio Reynols, and has collaborated and performed with Kawabata Makoto, Oren Ambarchi, Lasse Marhaug, and many more; Moore has détourned music most regularly as part of Volcano the Bear, who came to attention in the late 1990s through their imaginative live performances and recorded output. Bring Us Some Honest Food merges and develops the postal collaboration techniques of their previous releases; this is music created in real time, face-to-face in London, then layered and collaged afterward by (digital) post across continents to produce the intricate découpage effect heard here. It is a disorienting experience to listen deeply to this music. These lengthy pieces sound densely structured and composed with the precision of a Glenn Gould tape edit, but with a seat-of-yr-pants improv feel that brings the threat of collapse and chaos. In that sense it echoes krautrock pioneers going crazy with tape and razor blades decades ago, with a similarly kosmische expansiveness, but filtered through a wealth of avant knowledge and praxis. In short, neither salon nor sweat-pit, though informed by both. Bring Us Some Honest Food is all noir and shadow. The slammed piano chords of "Portions of Honesty" are repeated maddeningly, feeling like the shadow of Nosferatu creeping up the stairs. The muted trumpet of "Dishonest Dessert" accrues portentousness over 20 minutes, echoing the ever-more-insistent piano. Throughout the album sounds drift in and out, from foreground to background, cut off, backwards. Vocals are muffled, distorted; recognizable sounds redacted. The listener's ears skitter across the stereo envelope like an extra-wired sentry on guard duty. This is an involving, demanding, rewarding, and immersive album. Chance encounters are mercifully all around us but while all are welcome few are as serendipitous as this bizarre and blessed encounter of Brooklyn and Buenos Aires, and now London.