Mon March 13, 2017

Led Bib (GB) / Gorilla Mask (CAN/D/A)

Led Bib
Mark Holub: drums
Liran Donin: bass
Toby McLaren: keyboards
Chris Williams, Pete Grogan: alto saxophone

Gorilla Mask
Peter Van Huffel: alto saxophone
Roland Fidezius: bass, effects
Rudi Fischerlehner: drums, percussion

Led Bib
A mix of darting Zappa-jazz hooks, sinister electronics, Ornette Colemanesque sax and hefty rock drumming brought young London quartet Led Bib a Mercury prize nomination in 2009. The band's latest album will almost certainly expand their audience through a more thematically varied repertoire, without sacrificing any of their usual euphoric momentum. Led Bib sounds like a heavy-metal guitar group on the opening Moth Dilemma, with Toby McLaren's keys laying fuzz-chords under the alto saxes of Chris Williams and Pete Grogan, as the piece builds to a frenetic funkiness. Sometimes, a single sax will toy with a staccato free-jazz motif, sometimes hooting electronic sounds shadow brusque melody. Hollow-wind noises curl round horror-movie themes and Liran Donin's acoustic bass unfolds bluesy figures that are greeted by breathy sax lines and rising horn harmonies. The set starts with punchy grooving and ends on the cymbal shivers and wistful melodies of the closing Winter – and if Bring Your Own was intended to summarise where this energetic group has been and might still go, it succeeds admirably. (John Fordham, The Guardian)

Gorilla Mask
Relentless and fearsome, Berlin’s Gorilla Mask is all about energy all of the time. Canadian ex-pat and saxophonist extraordinaire Peter van Huffel, drummer Rudi Fischerlehner and bassist Roland Fidezius all have free jazz, punk and metal in their DNA, but the evolutionary process has taken these silverbacks far, far beyond their genetic coding. Their stuff moves fast – the ebb and flow of an acutely aware trio of musicians who know what they want and know how to get it. Hi-jinks nonstop. As soon as they’ve set your feet on fire, they’re pulling the rug out from under you. Yet, there’s a precision to the madness, a sense of purpose – the product of a constantly active, acutely intelligent hive-mind of three virtuosos.

Van Huffel wields a mighty alto reed: imagine the cavernous tone of Arthur Blythe wedded to the blissed-out inventions of David S. Ware and you’re halfway there. He rides the churn of frenetic fuzz-wah bass and crackling rimshot drumkit like a surfer on the biggest wave he’s ever seen. They craft spirals of sound in 4 or 5 dimensions, jabbing you in the ribs as they mess with your brain. And before you can plead “¡…no mas!” the energy has already moved on into uncharted territory. (Pressetext)