Released March 7, 2014; recorded July 6, 2011 by Gabe Beam of Toledo Bellows at Robinwood Concert House; mastered by Jim Hemingway; artwork by Connie Wang
- I are you. You is me.
- This is us. These are we.
- Who are the you? Who are the they?
- Chester Madison
Patrick Breiner and Will McEvoy’s duo, Premoticon, is an interesting attempt at discovering resonance between two instruments that at the outset might appear to have very different sonic possibilities. This release, the band’s second, begins and ends by exploring this middle ground between bass and tenor sax. The opening track is determined to scramble our expectations of these two instruments–Breiner begins by playing in the lower part of the tenor register with McEvoy playing towards the corresponding upper register of bass. The two each also mimic the timbre of the other. The result is fascinating: in the opening sections, one must sometimes concentrate to determine which is which. Both players bring energy in such quantity, too, that the sound fills more space than we might expect from just two musicians. Midway through the tune, the players seem to finally settle into the roles we might expect from bass and tenor, but then the narrative structure of the piece disintegrates, only to be reassembled towards a searching, contemplative finish with each musician taking a turn leading the sound forward.
The second song continues with the same mood of exploratory tenor, building to a full sound over fleeting bass. The geography of this music is splendidly jagged at times, without feeling like they need to smooth out the corners as they explore more robust themes. Track #3 lifts off with soaring tenor over selective plucks of bass. The energy level oscillates up and down while creating more space here than at any other point on the record. The closing track gives McEvoy his greatest exposure on the record with an engaging solo, with bits of sparse sax, finishing with a flurry of renewed resonance.
This record, to be released March 7, 2014, comes in handmade packaging and released on Breiner’s very own Sulde label. Wonderfully decorated by the work of Connie Wang, this album bears the markings of Brooklyn’s deep underground creative music scene–free of the frills of commercialism with a multifaceted artistic aesthetic. If you are interested in hearing this band play live, check out the album release party at Douglass Street Music Collective this coming Friday, March 7 at 8 pm. David Moore (solo piano) and Those Krazy Kennedys (a theater piece) will open.