How did renowned Japanese noisemaker Merzbow (aka Masami Akita), Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi follow up their majorly intense statement made on their tumultuous debut album, Cuts, which was released in 2013... By adding another ingredient to the volatile mix, in the person of skronking guitar hero and Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore they've taken things up a notch or two on the Richter scale on their RareNoise Records follow-up recording.
With Gustaffson's roaring baritone sax blending with Moore's shriekback guitar, Pandi's intensely throbbing beats and Merzbow's subversive white noise barrages, it all adds up to a sonic pummelling of epic proportions on the remarkable two LP-set, Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper. For Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper, the four kindred spirits went into the studio and came up with four extended tracks.
Drummer Pandi calls it mystery in sound.' As saxophonist Gustafsson said of their purely improvised session, "We had no game plan. That usually does not work so well. It all depends on the day, the energy and of course the room. And oh boy, that room was freakin' spectacular! It actually had a skateboard ramp! It was a truly spectacular recording.
It went super-fast -- just a wall of noise-poetry with layers and perspectives changing all the time. And to have Thurston Moore in the mix just added colours, layers, energies and sound. It was a very inspired sharing with the others." Pandi provides a bit of history on the evolution of this Cuts quartet.
"There is a legendary Roskilde live recording of Sonic Youth with Mats and Masami called 'Andre Sider Af Sonic Youth' and as a combination of that record and my longstanding duo with Masami, the idea came to try and play a quartet. Those were the days of the last couple Sonic Youth shows in South America, around 2012.
Following that, Masami, Mats and I continued to work as a trio. Meanwhile, in 2013 I got invited to join Porn for a string of gigs.
Porn masterminded by Tim Moss and Bill Gould from Faith No More and for the London shows Thurston joined us on stage - it was great fun to play together.
When we hung out backstage, we were talking about trying to hook up a quartet session sometime with Mats and Masami again.
We already had a gig planned with the trio in London, where Thurston currently lives, so we figured the only day he is spending around that time in London is the one we had for recording the follow album up to Cuts. So he was on board immediately."
As for how this new Cuts project with Moore may differ from their first Cuts outing,.
Fuelled by the imposing fuzz-bass bass lines of Colin Stewart and the slamming backbeats of drummer Paul Archibald and featuring the scorching alto sax work of Rebecca Sneddon, this renegade power strikes another blow for the freedom principle on their second RareNoise outing.
From the mournful dirge "The Stars Unseen" to the dark, temposhifting "The Land of Heat and Greed," marked by Sneddon's squealing multiphonics over the top of a tribal groove, to the teethchattering intensity of "Poking the Bear," the formidable triumvirate from Edinburgh summons up thoughts of Slayer jamming with avant garde icon Albert Ayler or alto saxophonist John Zorn with bassist Bill Laswell and former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.
Elsewhere on Awakening of a Capitol, Sneddon turns in some freewheeling blowing in the altissimo range on "Slay the Light," skronks with impunity on the probing "The Pillars of Dagon," which features a string quartet, and wails on the maelstrom of "Erich Zann," a haunting piece named after an H.P.
Lovecraft short story from 1922. In all, this second manifesto by Nelson Mandoomjazz is heavier than heavy, darker than dark, yet always retaining a deep sense of humour.