Rev.99 - "Everything Changed After 7-11"
(Pax Recordings 2002, PR90255)
From Aural Innovations #21 (October 2002)
rev.99 is a collective led by saxophonist, spoken word artist and filmmaker 99 Hooker. Everything Changed After 7-11 is the follow-up to last years Turn A Deaf Ear and contributors aiding 99 Hooker on this outing include an array of ubiquitous underground improv artists including Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth, Rotcod Zzaj, Bob Marsh, Glenn Sorvisto, LX Rudis, Donald Miller, Jody Kurash, Anita DeChellis, Ross Bonadonna and Jeff Arnal.
The CD is described as "a chaotic reaction to the pre-apocalyptic consumer culture". (ya gotta love the operatic choir singing "I love Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee Tuna" against pounding DJ beats.) Samples from radio and television are backed by free-improv jazz workouts, including fine drumming from Arnal, killer screaming mindfucked sax from Hooker, wild, freaky, and sometimes spacey electronics, avant garde guitar stylings, and of course 99 Hooker's (and others) spoken word rants.
But it's the end result of the process of shaping the various participants contributions that makes this such an attention grabbing listen. The recordings were made from telephone conversations between the artists, some "dialed in" their performances (not sure what that means), recording together and of course mailing contributions back and forth. The post production process was key, and very much a compositional procedure in which the various "ingredients" were brought together. As the CD liner notes say:
Improv and composition form a false dichotomy, like separating color from shape. Sound is always extemporaneously organized at one end or the other... or both (production/consumption). Proximity and velocity perhaps most "meaningful". Here "pressures of reality" fairly direct. Although thoughtful, not for contemplation. rev.99 records reaction. Pre/during/post: everything BUT the song remains the same.
The result is an evolving parade of musical passages, sounds, textures, rants and samples, but primarily a collage of all these things carefully edited and pasted to create a roller coaster ride of controlled chaos. This is a listening experience that will suck you in hard because there's so much to going on and such an attention to detail that there's no way you'll digest it all in one listen.
For more information you can visit the Pax Records web site at: http://www.paxrecordings.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Pax Recordings; PO Box 591138; San Francisco, CA 94159-1138.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz