Voltress – Moth

January 01, 1970

(Shortwave)

 

www.voltress.com

 

The second LP from Voltress, Moth is an ambitious two-part (or 10-part, depending on your
listening device) piece composed by keyboardist/visionary Eric Hartz. Joined by
guitarist Nels Cline, cellist Harrison Bankhead and, most significantly, jazz
sax legend Roscoe Mitchell, Hartz combines carefully structured, almost ambient
piano lines with improvisatory fire. Hartz presented his guests with tracks
deliberately missing some of the instruments, giving the musicians room to let
their imaginations roam.

 

Mitchell’s work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the
Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians well prepared him for
performance with minimal accompaniment, and he provides some incendiary
soloing, especially during the first portions of “Chemoceptors.” Cline gives
Hartz some of his spaciest, most bizarre work, with heavy phasing blanketing
the skronk with fairy dust. (A couple of other pickers contribute as well, but
not as distinctively as Cline.) Bankhead weaves in and out of the music,
sometimes screeching, sometimes moaning. Hartz, with assistance from double
bassist Matt Rodgers and drummer Fender Six, anchors everything with steady
piano work and cosmic synthesizer embellishment, setting up a solid foundation
on which the improvisers can dance. A fairly unique combination of classical
composition, free jazz and ambient fog, the mesmerizing Moth draws boundaries for the sole purpose of having them be
erased.

 

Most widely available as a digital download, Moth also comes in limited edition vinyl
wrapped in a gorgeous cover and including a CD and a print unique to each copy.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Chemoceptors”
MICHAEL TOLAND

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