"Untitled" The Broken Face

Written by Mats Gustafsson. Appeared in issue #12 (October 2001) of The Broken Face

Here's an interesting little gem on Oklahoma micro-label Maritime Fist Glee Club, notable for, among other things, their pretty neat motto, "what you hear is only partially our fault." It hardly comes as a surprise then that the label mainly focuses on bands that are willing to go out of their way to improvise and see what the occasion might have in store for them. >3 certainly belongs in that category, unleashing a musical blend of violin, viola, toy piano, chord organ, double bass, flute, treated piano, effects and what ever is around at the moment, resulting in a sound that defies categorization. These guys will probably be labeled with the free-jazz sticker, but judging from the overall atmosphere of this self-titled disc they've probably dissected all those newsletters from Eclipse Records with as much interest as any record geek with an affection for the odd things out there. Just to take an example, "#4" (there are no track names here, which kind of makes sense along with the beautiful "black on black" artwork and the levitational music) reminds me more of the stunning tangential NZ improvisers Sandoz Lab Technicians than of Cherry or Ayler. This darkly spiraling string drone works particularly well at high volumes, so turn it up loud and be blessed or move on to some of the other tracks that go over Rake-like territories before things close with a nice slab of folkish jazz experimentalism.



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