Wednesday, December 12, 2012

drummige cru, 1

bloggers first: 

An Idiot's Guide To Dreaming (a/k/a Loki a/k/a IX-Tab a/k/a A Man Like Saxon) with three offerings in the zone where primal, cosmic and intensely corporeal meet  - the first, a serious case of give the drummers some...  the second, well yeah I did call for embodied rhythm, didn't I.... the third, dude must have chronic tinnitus...

The Phil Zone, shining a spotlight on Thom Mooney  and then on Kenny Jones

... and thus initiating what I hope will be a protracted battle of heaviosity with Man like Carl (formerly known as the Impostume, until recently Jason Phereus, now seemingly Neither Here Nor There) who counter-attacks with the mighty Sir Lord Baltimore,  having earlier kicked off with The Ventures

Our God Is Speed, a/k/a Greyhoos, seems concerned that this is a rock-only zone --  not at all: funk, rhythm & blues, disco, jazz, reggae, Africa, Latin America... absolutely any form of music where things are hit with sticks or hands. There's some good drum bits in classical music, I'm sure. Actually I have a bunch of percussion-only post-WW2 records, although they don't sit as well with me as the avant-electronic and musique concrete ones. Greyhoos then warms to the idea, offering something rootical, the sticks wielded by the mighty Carlton Barrett - and that's a favourite of mine too.

And finally Cardrossmaniac2, a/k/a Tim Space Debris, with a dollop of "ultimate drums" from the southern hemisphere, and way out of left field...


And now the mailbag:

hey hey hey, it's Kodwo Eshun

Of "A Little Max" (Duke Ellington on piano, Charles Mingus on bass and Max Roach on drums, 1962)  he says:

Marvel at how irresistibly catchy Max Roach's drums are - 

Those fills and the rolls carry the composition as much as Ellington's piano - 

In fact, it often feels as if its reversed - the piano is keeping time and the drums are soloing- rolling out a continuous texturhythmelodies   

The drums are so deliciously wriggly, busy, lithe and limber...

And you have to admit, he's got a point there.

Drummage 2 from Kodwo is "From the Side of Man and Womankind", Tony Conrad with Faust, Outside the Dream Syndicate, 1973. About which K says: 

Werner Zappi Diemaier's awe-inspiringly primitive, monolithic flat-beat, fusing with Jean Herve Peron's Stonehenge-bass

When gods walked the earth, it must have sounded like this  

That is a big sound. I expect we will  be hearing more from Faust.

Julian Weber, over in Berlin, nominates something pretty darn obscure:

A big song for me, when I was 15: the only recording by Double O, part of the DC hardcorepunk scene, 2nd song on B-Side, starts with great guitar feedback, the drumbreak is short, sharp and comes around 5:10. Sounds like it's played on cookie boxes. They listened to Go Go funk and Rotodrums, but it sounds not too funky, rather eerie. There's other great drum sounds from the same era: check out Void or United Mutation.

Wow, if Julian hadn't mentioned "hardcorepunk" , I'm not sure I'd ever have guessed. In fact I'd have been more likely to place it as some kind of  Duul-ish Airplane-influenced commune-dwelling combo out of early 70s Germany -- until maybe the voice comes in.  Oh, wait a minute I'm listening to the first track of two in the same YouTube clip! Okay, the second one is pure 1983 hardcore, and the break at 5.13 does pummel.

Marc Goodman says:

I was looking for live footage of Warren "Baby" Dodds, a big influence on Han Bennink whom I also considered, and found this astonishing solo by Jo Jones (not to be confused with Philly Jo Jones) during a performance of "C Jam Blues" by an augmented Oscar Peterson Trio. Solo begins around the 2 minute mark.

Fuck me, that is incredible. "Look ma, no sticks!".

John Mullen asks:

How many great punk drummers were there? Only two I can think of, Chris Frantz and Stephen Morris. I suppose any drum flourishes were associated with the supposed bad old days (cue up shots of Emerson Lake and Palmer's truck convoy).  Morris is just incredible in this clip - managing somehow to be metronomic, inhumanly precise but also providing the perfect frenetic backdrop to Curtis' words. There's are great bits around 2.20  and 2.59 when Curtis' jerks mirror exactly Morris' drum rolls. Despite its virtuosity, this isn't flamboyant drumming, it's perfectly measured to the chaos of the song (and Morris is so great at that - a drummer who embraces drum machines for New Order because it just fits).

Ferocious - Liebezeit auditions for the Stooges. 

Robert Dansby proffers a big batch -- I'll save some for the next go-round, but here's a couple that are coming from the same postpunk zone of not-rock insistence:

The Woodentops "Why Why Why", of which performance Dansby notes:

kick and snare crisp and loud and as always with benny staples relentless


Now that left me wondering if Rollo and the 'Tops maybe had actually heard the Feelies...  even if there's no direct inspiration, if you were to triangulate those contemporaries-of-each-other Woodentops and Violent Femmes backwards, the lines would converge at Crazy Rhythms 

Finally, the antithesis of these collegiate types: rock at its most implacable. The choice of Eoghan Barry, who says:

the one that immediately springs to mind is the opening of "When the Levee Breaks" although it is about the drum sound as much as what Bonham is playing. I'm sure if I thought harder I'd come up with plenty of others from Jaki Liebezeit, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Mitch Mitchell but obvious as it is, that one does it for me

Obvious, yes, but undeniable. I was going to suggest it myself if nobody else did.