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Death Rattle

RCD 2148CD RCD 2148CD

Death Rattle is the noise of two forces of nature in collision. Like a pair of clashing typhoons, Philadelphia-based avant guitarist James Plotkin and Norwegian free-jazz drummer Paal Nilssen-Love generate chaos, disturbance and a terrifying beauty in their first-ever collaborative recording. Free-jazz and metal-edged rock never chimed so exhilaratingly together before. "Paal's precision and constant invention/reinvention is mind-blowing, only matched by its intensity," James enthuses. "There's a very fluid feel to what he's doing despite the ferocity. Instead of trying to match the chaos, I opted to build a more solid foundation of repetition and melody for him to launch from. I really appreciated the role-reversal of drummer and guitarist!" James had previously mastered some of Paal's CD releases and they finally met in April 2012 when the drummer was passing through Philly. In December, after Paal had just finished a 10-date U.S. tour with a Norwegian jazz trio, they got together for the four-hour session that resulted in Death Rattle. Plotkin: "My main memory of the session was that body parts started failing us. Fingers and arms began to give out. We had a small chunk of time left and I suggested we do a final 20 minute stretch... Paal just shook his head at the absurdity of my request. That track became 'Primateria," the second track on the album." Nilssen-Love: "I felt a relief taking the volume up and getting some immediate sweat going. What I enjoyed was the fullness of sound, layer upon layer... there wasn't always space for me in there, but that's OK, and his style invited me to lean towards metal drumming." Opening track "The Skin, The Colour" is an endless Niagara gush of splashy drumming and distortion. On "Cock Circus," Plotkin bombards his laser-guided guitar missiles through some brain-boggling digital effects. The pair improvise moment by moment, but there's a tangible, overarching arc that these two veterans instinctively understand -- a depth of vision that lifts them head and shoulders above their younger peers. James Plotkin's distinctively extreme, aggressive guitar sound has been a constant presence in underground music since the late 1980s, when he founded the metal/industrial band, OLD. As a solo artist and as a member of outfits such as Scorn, Khanate, Phantomsmasher, Khlyst, and most recently, Jodis, he has plotted a nomadic trail through new metal, dark ambient, industrial, noise, grindcore and drone-rock. Sought out by Michael Gira, John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Franz Treichler, Francisco López, and many more, he has also remixed a wide range of artists from KK Null and Sunn O))) to Pelican, Earth, Nadja and Neu!. "I've wanted to work with Paal for the better part of a decade," comments James. "Stephen O'Malley had played one of Scorch Trio's discs in the van during a Khanate tour and I could hardly believe it was only one drummer at work." Paal Nilssen-Love is one of the most intense drummers working on the planet right now. He grew up in Stavanger, west Norway, where his parents ran the city's thriving jazz club. In theory, he's now based in Oslo, but there's a huge global demand for his percussive threshing machine. He's often travelling on a relentless round of musical projects and festival appearances -- notably with Mats Gustafsson in The Thing, his Chicago trio with Ken Vandermark and Ab Baars, the Hairy Bones group with Peter Brötzmann and Toshinori Kondo, a trio with Massimo Pupillo and noise artist Lasse Marhaug, plus duos with Peter Brötzmann, Terrie Ex, John Butcher and others. James Plotkin: guitar, Paal Nilssen-Love: drums.