Brahvar Large Ensemble

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The smallest incarnation of Atlanta's Brahvar Large Ensemble is one of their best, as the septet takes on a relatively short piece of improvisational fare in a studio -- recorded live there, of course -- and proceeds to experiment with fragmentary sound and its relationship to both the whole of sonic construction and to the entirety of group interplay. Broken into three segments, the work is reliant on Hormuz Minia's voice and Robert Cheatham's electronics as much as it is the group's horns and guitars. This is a freakout fest, purely sounding like chaos, yet never has chaos sounded so pure in its focus and simplicity. Vocal drones and moans and ostinato horn lines and arpeggiated guitar ramblings move in repetitious tonal statements until the tension grows so great there isn't room for anything but change, and it does only to begin the process of singling out the space where that tension should be created. This is wildly experimental music in the same way the Europeans go about it, but it's a hell of a lot more fun than experimental music ever portrays itself to be.

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