Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ettrick, "Feeders of Ravens" (Not Not Fun, 2007)

Ettrick, Feeders of Ravens
Not Not Fun, 2007.

After the scorched earth attack of Sudden Arrythmic Death Vol. 2, the dual sax & drums free-death duo, Ettrick, have emerged to emaciate the maggot infested corpse of harsh jazz noise with their first full-length lp, Feeders of Ravens. Now, if you've no prior experience with Ettrick, let me break it down for you before you go and hurt yourself: bone-grinding double-kick drumming from four sets of feet, pared with face-melting saxophone freakouts that utterly S L A Y Borbetomagus, Vandermark, and Zorn's tired asses and corpse-fuck their fetid remains. With little respect to those previously mentioned, there is little I can liken Ettrick's skin-scalding sax and drums attack to, although Mick Barr's work in Orthrelm and Octis comes to mind. Feeders of Ravens eight tracks of ascetic jazz extremism all seem to be composed of free improvisations, which are each based upon some previously set parameter (say: drums and sax, sax and sax, drums and drums). However, just because it's free doesn't mean their jazz is cheap. It's clearly obvious that the deadly psychic connection shared between Jacob Felix Heule and Jay Korber is the result of relentless practicing, rather than laziness and a lack of skill passed off as avant-garde. That being said, although Ettrick's improvised death jazz is dense and incredibly varied, I find that prolonged listening can be a little overwhelming. I prefer their thunderous assaults and screeching terror when delivered in shorter, sharper bursts of acoustic violence, rather than drawn-out in L'Eng Tche styled torture sessions. Feeders of Ravens is both an incredible debut lp, and a torture garden of grand guignol jazz delights where you're the slave and Ettrick are the masters.



werid to compare it to mick barr as he plays guitar, and this is not a guitar band

Har-Har said...

Really? I don't think it's weird at all. I'm aware that Mick Barr plays guitar, and that Ettrick are not a guitar band (pretty sure I mentioned they only use drums and sax in the review). I do think that at least in terms the dynamics of Ettrick's compositions, they are similar to Barr's, and I feel that Barr tends to play guitar like it's a sax anyways (listen to Orthrelm's "Norildivoth Crallos Lomrixth Urthiln" or the Zach Hill collab to see hear I mean). Both seem to shoot off in multiple directions and careen wildly, and are more rooted in free-jazz than rock.

Har-Har said...

Sorry if I sound defensive, but I think it's a perfectly valid comparison, seeing as many critics have (not just me) already likened Mick Barr's playing style to that of Ornette Coleman.

Jacob Felix Heule said...

The Mick Barr comparison is completely apt. Thanks for the kind words.