Chicago Odense Ensemble - s/t
(Adluna Records AR004LP)
From Aural Innovations #43 (October 2011)
This music was recorded in the summer of 2008 when Jakob Skott and Jonas Munk of the Danish band Causa Sui visited the USA to play some electronic music festivals and had some time in Chicago. They hooked up with some of the local experimental musicians from Tortoise, Isotope217 and the Chicago Underground Collective and had some old school early 70's style jam sessions and this is the results. This was mixed by Jonas in Odense and has taken a very long time to come out but it is here on CD and very limited edition on heavy vinyl (only 250 copies). The music is mostly improvised but a few overdubs were done in Odense. Side A starts off with Parallel Motions as all the musicians are getting a feel for things and it is lead by cornetist (sounds like a trumpet) Rob Mazurek. Pretty laid back noodling with two distinct guitar styles really going on and some electronic sounds in the background as well. This one builds up in intensity with again Rob really taking the lead but sadly as you are really getting into it, it ends in a pretty unnatural way. Cool piece. Emanuelle has a deep and steady bass that drives the track and is a bit more psyched out with lots of stuff happening in the undergrowth. Side B features 3 shorter tracks. Spirals is like 2 minutes and just coronet and guitar. Glide Path is also pretty short and mellow and does not have a lot of time to develop but has some really nice drumming. Soup is next and really cool. I like the repeated guitar line and cross rhythm thing that is happening and also the return of some spacey electronics in the background. Great track. Side C starts with another short track, Spine Dots. It is mainly some electronics and coronet and you can hear a few other sounds as it sort of builds the mood for leading into Delivery. I like the tabla like drums at the beginning and this really reminds me of some of the Causa Sui summer sessions stuff this track as it is also a little funky some how. Rob totally takes the lead, in fact he is basically the only one doing solos on most of the record except this track. The guitars and other instruments are just providing the grooves and ambience for Rob. Great stuff. This is the most intense track on the album. Pretty nice is the final track and takes up only less than half the space of side 4. It has a nice slow building atmosphere to it and cool percussion. Here is some advice. I found that this record can be a little boring on a low volume so really crank it up and then the great mix and interesting interactions between the members really cuts through the sound. You will get sucked in for sure. I did.
For more information you can visit the Chicago Odense Ensemble web site at: http://www.chicagoodenseensemble.com
Visit the Causa Sui web site at: http://www.causasui.com
Visit the Adluna Records web site at: http://www.adluna-records.com
Reviewed by Scott Heller