Music Reviews

Control R Workshop



Missing is improv trio (sax, guitar, percussion) Control R Workshop’s “official” debut release, a four-tracks long live session originally broadcast on KDVS. It’s a sprawling lo-fi affair that presents the group as an intriguing if not too defined project, open to playful improvisations but sometimes a bit too uniform and expressive to sustain interest.

The tracks are unnamed, and why not. No. 1 is a muted, desperately busy piece that stamps around in post-jazz territory. The musicians show remarkable restraint and prowess, and there’s an eerie presence to it that makes it a fine leadoff track.

Much better, though, is the following piece, a frantically expressive slab of cut-up improv, imitating Chinese torture through a series of dampened explosions. It’s a short but layered track that show the band’s ability to play of and against each other. No. 3 is an unsettling number, on which the sax dominates with expressive, atonal counterpoints.

The last track out however, is the best one on here – after a clichéd start, the trio really gets into the swing of things, pushing the music forward, taking it into freaked-out space, and leaving it high, dry and severely bruised. Intriguing if somewhat accidental improv, worthy of your attention.

Control R Workshop:

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