Nathan Hubbard

Born on Tuesday

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This is West Coast drummer Nathan Hubbard's first solo album. The culmination of a 12-month once-a-month solo concert series during which the artist explored many ways to expand the palette of the standard drum kit, this CD culls studio recordings made in June and July 2002. The music ranges from solo free improvisations on the drum kit reminiscent of Paul Lovens and Paul Lytton (a track is even dedicated to him) to harsh noise pieces. Hubbard uses all kinds of sticks, brushes, and miscellaneous beaters on his drums, but he also plays sampler, electronics, amplified metal frames, and junk metal. In "5/25," he limits his arsenal to a bass drum and thundersheet, conjuring up a convincing thunderstorm. "Born on Tuesday," "Turn the Tide of the Tale," and "The Gift" combine frantically fast drumming on conventional drums and frames with sampling and processing. These pieces showcase the widest palette of sounds and dynamics, some passages exploring very quiet textures (bowed metal in "Born on Tuesday"), although one could hardly label Hubbard a minimalist. The 12-minute "Voice in the Machine" and (to a lesser extent) the concluding "Gate 6" constitute a drummer's answer to Merzbow's pre-digital noise guitar assaults. Pure mayhem, it drills into your skull to obliterate your memories of what drums should sound like. The sound captured on Born on Tuesday is not stellar (compared to Paal Nilssen-Love's Sticks & Stones or Milford Graves' solo albums for Tzadik), but Hubbard makes up for it in creativity -- and how!

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