Timbre. Are there no more purists demanding the purest of timbre? Have our perceptional palates become caked with bitter bile from our electronic junk food, now unable to recall the five-star exquisiteness of unadulterated sound? Weird Weapons is compositionally stunning, but what makes it all the more aesthetically pleasing is that, while it jumps and scrapes and pops not unlike many an avant garde record these days (for instance, Whitman’s Occlusions), it recognizes the importance of timbre. I don’t hear manipulated tones, pitches shifted, frequencies tweaked. Instead, I hear wood, coiled string, copper and bronze, the screech and scrape of finely taut horse hairs. I hear fucking human beings placing their human hands on man-made instruments of natural ingredients.
Within the unhinged clatter created by this trio of double bass, acoustic guitar, and drum kit is a cohesive mathematics that could only be realized thanks to the organic purity of these gents’ sound production. Had these same improvisations been cluttered together through electronics, I would have missed a great deal of texture and detail, likely preemptively settling that I was listening to noise. And perhaps that is my fault; perhaps that is the shortcomings of my schemata. But are we not tired of programmed loops, signaled prerecorded voices, or the buzz of machines? After all, it’s no longer reflective of our culture. We’ve perfected our technologies, and our machines run peacefully silent. I vote that the avant garde return to real instrumentation, a timbre revival.
Okay, I’m over it now. Good record, came out last year. Sorry the review is late.
Artists: Olaf Rupp, Tony Buck, Joe Williamson
Album: Weird Weapons 2
Label: Creative Sources