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(47:24; Unicorn Digital)
Some 20+ years ago I came across the band of brothers known as Kopecky, and really enjoyed their material, then some years later I discovered Yeti Rain which featured William Kopecky alongside percussionist Craig Walkner and Roger Ebner (saxophones, synthesizer, flute, voice). Following on from my review of their excellent 2013 album ‘Stars Fall Darkly’ Craig tracked me down to let me know what he thought of the review itself, and also shared with me some other material he had been working on. The line-up of Snarling Adjective Convention finds Yeti Rain being joined by William’s brother Joe on guitars, as well as Dan Maske (keyboards, trumpet, flute, percussion) while William’s wife Sophie appears as a special guest on two tracks to contribute some French haunting spoken word performances. I described the last Yeti Rain release as a Marmite album (Marmite is a yeast extract spread either loved dearly or loathed deeply, there is no middle ground), and ‘Bluewolf Bloodwalk’ is in exactly the same camp. Here are five musicians who are daring each other to take ideas to logical or illogical extremes, bouncing in an environment where the only rules are to be creative and not settle into any standard musical norms. I am somewhat surprised to see this was released by Unicorn, as the logical home for this would be Cuneiform as they push not only the musical boundaries but themselves in a style which is RIO mixed with avant garde and free form, yet contains elements of other genres, but in a manner where the listener never has any idea what is going to happen next as there is no path forward or backwards, only the current, nothing else exists. This is improvised music which refuses to sit anywhere, instead relies on the listener having a totally open mind and allowing the musicians to take them gently by the ear, leading them to places they would never have found on their own. The band themselves describe this as “Invoking the ghosts of 70’s electric-era Miles and gloomy French sound sculptors Shub Niggurath”, but even that does not really capture the dynamic strangeness this delivers. Very much only for those with an open musical mind, but for those this is a wonderfully diverse sonic experience.
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