It’s probably quite fitting that this was the first album I listened to for review purposes in 2011, a year that promises more long-term unemployment and a brand spanking new Wall Street-driven oil bubble (to end with a “shocking” stock crash, be assured), meaning lots more destroyed people.
Of this double LP (that’s really what it is, regardless of the separated titles of the 2 disks included), I started with These Are The Words, which opens with Lugerner focusing on wary, eerie, slo-mo dissonance that, were it not for the coordinated tandem effort of his clarinets and such, sounds improvisational, drummer Matt Wilson’s military snare seemingly trying to find footing. And so it goes, things getting Minguser and Minguser by the minute, melodic themes inspired by math lifted from the cabalistic practice of Gematria, which assigns numerical values to the Hebrew alphabet. Drooling yet? Well, you should, actually, as disk 2, aka Narratives, is a tour de force of straight-ahead, New York-drenched modern stuff, the yin to the other CD’s yan.
So if this is all a sign of what’s to become of 2011, my question to the gods is whether the crashing dissonance marks the end of the year or the beginning.