“Ductworks” finds Public Eyesore Records honcho Bryan Day with collaborators Alex Boardman, Joseph Jaros, and Jay Schleidt; working in a truly egalitarian manner to fashion an effortlessly unruffled recording.
Unfortunately, the somewhat calm nature of the disc may turn off casual listeners. Pay attention, you suckers– it is for exactly this quality that I can declare “Ductworks” a real success. Let’s face it, improvisational music sometimes hits a few ‘behavioral lock grooves,’ where its an open secret that what is occurring sounds like improv, but is really a re-hash of What Worked Before. Even the overall tone of a performance can fall prey to this sort of repetition– proceeding from quiet to loud everytime, working to create a “dark” sound time and time again… it’s cheating the improv spirit, and it is my opinion that this makes it even more difficult to appreciate some real improv when you come across it.
Of course, I’m thinking of “Ductworks” as I write this. No, it doesn’t seem to have an overarching theme. No, it’s not a showy display of dramatic guitar runs or sax blowing. So why listen? For starters, check how fully these musicians explore their instruments! I’m not sure of everything that’s being played, but I can assure you that whatever it is, it’s being squeezed for the last drop of sound available!
It’s also very enjoyable to hear such a ‘real’ album– listeners will easily be able to place themselves within the performance, which is strikingly immediate without being at all in your face. Recommended.