MJR031 Iron Kim Style
Produced by Iron Kim Style
Released on January 10, 2010
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Find it at GEMM
MJR031 cover
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T his is an improvisational prog-jazz record from a Seattle-based quintet/sextet anchored by two members of Moraine. I’m naturally distrustful of all improvisational music; blame it on an adolescent bamboozled by the Lounge Lizards. Then again, I enjoyed Moraine’s Manifest Density, and I’m sure some of that wasn’t scripted. Sounding at times like a cross between the dark, jammy side of Soft Machine and the art-jazz pretensions of the Lounge Lizards, Iron Kim Style (the album) succeeds more often than not; so often, in fact, that the improvisational label wears off around the second track and you begin to hear these songs as experimental jazz spelunkering with a luminous GPS in hand. Now, in reality, what happens mostly is that two or three players click and unclick again, recognizable riffs emerge and submerge, and a fog of disaggregated noise follows from the few disconnected players trying to fit in. The two guitars, for example, rarely connect, though I don’t find the two-guitarist format works well in a jazz setting unless it’s an acoustic/electric pairing. Despite its share of noisy passages where the improv label is appropriate (“Pachinko Malice,” “Po’ Breef”), some of this is surprisingly solid. “Mean Streets of Pyongyang” and “Don Quixotic” sound remarkably well put together, and it’s enough to indulge Iron Kim in their experiment if such happy accidents should occur. More indicative of the danger of improv, however, is the speed with which the lovely “Dreams From Our Dear Leader” unravels into noise. If the idea had been nurtured and expanded, it could have become more than a brief encounter. Listening to five, sometimes six, smart fellers from Seattle explore the dark edges of prog-fusion is all fine and good. However, post-Softies prog fusion would really have to be your poison of choice to get jazzed about Iron Kim Style.

TRACK LISTING

  1. MEAN STREETS OF PYONGYANG    10:32
  2. GIBBERISH FALTER    4:36
  3. PO' BREEF    6:17
  4. DON QUIXOTIC    7:37
  5. ADRIFT    7:44
  6. AMBER WAVES OF MIGRAINE    5:37
  7. PACHINKO MALICE    5:10
  8. DREAMS OF OUR DEAR LEADER    3:20
  9. JACK OUT THE KIMS    2:34
  10. SLOUCHIN' AT THE SAVOY    2:24

    All music freely improvised by Iron Kim Style

CREDITS

RYAN BERG -- bass
THADDEUS BROPHY -- 12-string guitar
JAY JASKOT -- drums
BILL JONES -- trumpet
DENNIS REA -- 6-string guitar
Izaak Mills -- bss clarinet (1,5)
Doug Haire -- mix, engineer
Barry Thompson -- band photo
Whitehall Design Company -- album design

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US January 10, 2010 Moonjune CD MJR031  

 

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