Jamie Saft’s, Joe Morris’ and Balazs Pandi’s artistic relationship has been steadily developing on RareNoiseRecords since late 2012 : Saft and Pandi both played on Metallic Taste Of Blood; all three played with Wadada Leo Smith on Red Hill; Saft and Morris both played on Plymouth (with Mary Halvorson, Chris Lightcap and Gerald Cleaver) and The Spanish Donkey (with Mike Pride). At the time of their debut release, Black Aces, we said
“With an audacious, uncompromising spirit, Slobber Pup wails with impunity on its savagely fierce, purely improvised self-titled debut on RareNoise Records.”
Now Slobber Pup are back with their sophomore release, titled Pole Axe; The original core lineup is here augmented by the presence of Swedish sax titan Mats-Olof Gustafsson (already present on Cuts and Cuts Of Guilt, Cuts Deeper), replacing Trevor Dunn.
The endless depth of Saft’s and Morris’ interplay, multiple analog synths and organs engaged in a at times vertiginous dance with the guitar, is here deeply complemented by Gustafsson’s saxophone multiform saxophone, sustained by Pandi’s at times restrained, at times virulent drumming. Here again one can sense the manifestation of the notion of glacial time theorised by Morris – a state of deep listening between musicians, when time is felt and understood by all, but does not need to be overtly stated. Everyone is experiencing the pulse, yet everyone’s focus is on the larger arc of the music.
Recorded December 2013 in Jamie Saft’s Potterville International Sound studio in the beautiful Catskills mountains, Pole Axe leverages the afore-mentioned chemistry and the tumultuous, monolithic yet psychedelic vigor of Mats Gustafsson’s reeds, yielding three boundless free-form excursions .
This journey, which starts with the torrential Pole Of Combustible Memory, continues with the equally extended Bring Me My Desire And Arrows To Shoot (a title inspired by William Blake) and concludes with Incendiary Axe, is a chiaroscuro stream of consciousness that might have been burned on 35mm analog reel. Visions relentlessly follow visions, temperature and texture changes flow into another without hardly rest.