Ches Smith’s Congs For Brums – Psycho Predictions (2012)

Share this:

What might sound to the casual ear like goofing around in the studio is actually a drumming genius at work. Ches Smith, recording for the third time under the guise of “Congs For Brums,” is once again in an experimental mode and worked out an extended piece in front of audiences before recording it in the studio 13 times live without any overdubs. The product, Psycho Predictions, is his third or so take of that baker’s dozen of attempts.

Smith constructs his organic and complex drums and vibes around simple repeating, sparse and artificial electronic motifs. Broken up nominally into three longish tracks, “Death Chart,” “Birth Chart” and “Conclusion: That’s Life,” Smith takes the listener through an odyssey of ideas not necessarily connected but usually hypnotic. Also chock filled with virtuosic percussional performances that he does a great job with bonding to what might normally be totally incompatible electronic sounds. The ringing vibraphone finds an unlikely sonic cousin in those buzzes and zaps. Drum solos take on a new meaning when coupled with robotic, synthesized twerps, blurps and bleats.

Bringing it all together — at once, without a safety net — is the fascinating thing about Psycho Predictions, and his mind expanding approach to his music makes it easy to understand why he’s in bands led by Marc Ribot, Tim Berne, John Tchicai and Mary Halvorson. But the band boss he most emulates here is minimalist pioneer Terry Riley. Psycho Predictions is a record Riley can dig, as well as his fans.

Psycho Predictions goes on sale May 1, by the 88 Records imprint.Purchase Psycho Predictions (vinyl only).

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B000ENC79A” /][amazon_enhanced asin=”B0017U40VW” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0046QVA9E” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B001LHFK3I” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000WQ204Q” /]

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
Share this:
Close