Sunday, August 21, 2011

HMS - Cascades

HMS is a lively free improvisation trio made up of an impressive team of veterans: Joe Houpert, Nathan McLaughlin, and Erich Steiger. Their debut release "Resolution," was released on McLaughlin's Panda Fuzz netlabel and after each pursuing a variety of solo projects, they have reconvened once more to record a blistering one-hour live set for the forward-thinking Avant Archive label.

Right from the get-go their interplay is exquisite and precise. The rumbles of "Centralia" are hooking from the first squeals of noise, and things only get better from there. Side A slowly drifts away in ominous snaking tendrils and then returns on the flip side as an assault of clattering pipes, growling synthesizer and insistent buzzing--the kind of swinging-lightbulb-in-the-unfinished-
basement nightmare that runs rampant during the witching hours. Fifteen minutes later, the trio blasts across the finish line in a gutsy krauty ending peppered with great jazzy elements. Just in time! Seconds later, the tape winds down to a halt and the ever-perky "play" button on my Walkman springs up mockingly.

As is previously mentioned, all of three contributors are highly-accomplished musicians, and I recommend you seek out their other projects. Nathan McLaughlin has released some great tapes under his
Echolocation series, and he and Joe Houpert also have a great duo project called Loud and Sad. Eric Steiger has some pretty legit improv piano releases that are also noteworthy. Check out his free release on Panda Fuzz here and grab the first HMS recording while you're at it.

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