MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ

Composing his music to be played by amateur musicians, Tori Kudo (the enigmatic conductor of Maher Shalal Hash Baz) has been appropriately dubbed “the master of mistake.” On L’Autre Cap he is a wickedly inspired bandleader, presenting a tight package of 27 songs, both fierce and fragile. Barely held together by the threads, these songs seem just a note away from falling into oblivion. The effect is often times serene, dissonant, enchanting, rockin’, and always intensly catchy – kind of a Langley School kid’s avant-idiot savant orchestra with a Syd-Barrett-meets-Charles-Ives conductor who fuses the most captivating elements of twisted jazz, psychedelic rock freak-outs, and dreamy pop chamber music to form a most intimate and cohesive vision of the future of music on Planet Earth.

Maher Shalal Hash Baz were the guests of honor at the 12th Annual Olympia Festival of Experimental Musics. They made the million-mile trip from Japan to spend their days rehearsing, living, and recording in the legendary Big Room that formerly housed the Dub Narcotic Studio. The man-on-board in the control room was Arrington de Dionyso, so it should be no surprise that Old Time Relijun, Melanie Valera (Tender Forever), Warren Lee, and Derek Johnson (Le Ton Mite) make guest appearances. The sounds are crisp and spacious – the delicate result of three microphones and two days – that capture forever the determined spontaneity defining Tori’s sophisticated work with the band.

For longtime fans who have tracked the band over their many years and mutations, L’Autre Cap is an essential follow up to Faux Depart (also recorded at Dub Narcotic and released on Yik Yak! in 2004). L’Autre Cap is also an excellent starting point for those unfamiliar with the long history and naive genius of Tori Kudo’s Maher Shalal Hash Baz.

 

K Releases:

Both songs from Maher Shalal Hash Baz’s album L’Autre Cap [KLP179], which is at turns serene, dissonant, enchanting, rockin’, and intensively catchy- kind of a Langley School kids Avant-Idiot Savant Orchestra with a Syd Barrett meets Charles Ives conductor, fusing the most captivating elements of twisted jazz, psychedelic rock rebellion, and dreamy pop chamber music to form a most intimate and cohesive vision of the future of music on Planet Earth. …

 

Photo by Alison Davis

Photo by Alison Davis

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