Sych - Lunar Roulette
For music geeks into improvisation, free jazz and guitar freakout, the acronym of this band hides a sweet treat. For SYCH is nothing less than a collaboration among legends. Even with that that, though, the combination of guitarist Bill Horist, drummer Chris Corsano, sound gurus C. Spencer Yeh and Wally Shoup have to deliver the goods. Thankfully, "Lunar Roulette" does just that, exploring the outer limits of noise, atonal sax and guitar, along with one's tolerance for occasional screeching, dying bird-like scat.
Four songs in a half hour seems a bit short for a experimental record to really heat up, but the band does its best within the time restraint. The centerpiece is the sixteen minute plus "Qoph Odyssey, in which Scopu's alto competes with the drone of Yeh's violin for sonic supremacy, and more or less wins. His waling is both lyrical and unrestrained, given plenty of room by the drone to develop its own tangents. Yeh is responsible for the improv vocals here, which are more distracting than whatever spontaneous incantations were implied.
Horist and Corsano have more to contribute on the other three tracks, particularly showing off impressive power on "Hermetic Moasaic." But even here it is Shoup's show, his spontaneous horn lines providing the emotional center and avenue for exploration.SYCH is a treat for fans of the collaborators as well as for anyone interested in free music. "Lunar Roulette" may seem to lack direction at times, but the songs all refer back on and look to the Alto work of Seattle legend Wally Shoup, a slightly bigger giant on this project that the giants with whom he jammed.
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