A lot of artists call themselves "unique," but most rarely live up to the description. This is certainly THE exception--it would be hard to find anything quite as "unique" as Pith Balls and Inclined Planes, an experiment in noise and rhythm from Jeff Kaiser and Ernesto Diaz-Infante. It's a surreal adventure, filled with an abundance of experimentation and improvisation, musical modern art that deconstructs the structure and form of contemporary music. Beneath the noise of a horn or the squeal of fingers on a guitar string lies subtle nuances of control; a hidden underlying current of patterned thoughts and ideas. They lead you into one direction to simply turn you into a completey different one, always opting for the unexpected.
The bubbling, non-human electronic noises of Once (And It Was Not Yesterday) drift into the beastly squeals and grunts of the trumpet and guitar of Puny Demigods On Stilts. These two are contrasted with the bizarre jazzy ramblings of The Unreasonable Power of the Diagrams, which has a slight semblance of structure, but never quite settles into anything concrete. The instruments aren't so much played as abused, strained and stretched beyond their general use. Kaiser's solo trumpet squeals and speaks in a confused wah-wah on Fearful of Contagion, setting the stage for the long-winded rattling of She Surreptitiously Introduced Colored Shirts, a highly dynamic piece that centers on the abstract percussive sounds one can get out of a guitar. From the sound of it, it's doubtful that this particular guitar will ever be played in standard fashion again.
Pith Balls... is a bold move, and made for even bolder listeners. It's a level of music that rarely gets visited; a one-time shot that bends backwards to reach something new, something no one has heard before.
MISH MASH Mandate: Bring the Noise