Matta Gawa - Tambora
New Atlantis 002
Matta Gawa are a DC-based guitar/drums duo who I saw many times until Ed moved to Ohio, which either means that this is the final release from MG, or that they will just have to work as the distances allow. In any event, Sam's blend of hardcore roots and free-music influences on drums and Ed's explorations of the full sonorities available to the guitar + boxes makes for good listening.
"Tambora is the second full-length from the Washington DC-based 'free rock' drums+guitar duo Matta Gawa. Named after the Indonesian stratovolcano that blocked out the sun in the year of 1815, the dynamic, sprawling music on Tambora stands as a fine demonstration of Matta Gawa's unique brand of spontaneous composition. Uncompromising burners like the title track, 'Ephemerides' and 'Position' sit comfortably between sparse, textural pieces (like 'Vesta' and 'Sky'). Their cohesion as a duo belies their unconventional and experimental approach to music-making. Guitarist Ed Ricart uses a vast array of stompboxes to process, loop, and sculpt sound on the fly, while drummer Sam Lohman freely punctuates the music with his energetic work on the kit, adding heft, color, and texture. Renowned tattoo artist Daniel Albrigo contributed outstanding artwork for the front cover. Tambora documents the most recent stage in the lives of these two busy musicians. Sam Lohman was an original member of the great early New York Hardcore band Sheer Terror, and co-founded the Japan Overseas import record label. Recent projects include collaborations with Steve Mackay (of the Stooges), and the Acid Mothers Temple. Ed Ricart has worked with members of avant rockers Fugazi, Tortoise, and Bardo Pond, as well as free jazzers Marshall Allen (of the Sun Ra Arkestra), Steve Swell, Jason Ajemian, William Hooker, Calvin Weston, Roy Campbell, Peter Brotzmann, and more. He is also a member of avant-rock trio Hyrrokkin. Of their debut, Clifford Allen noted 'this is a deep, unruly recording devoid of New Weird-hipness, capturing the dangerous fragmentation of noise and psychedelic vibrations with a young, hungry energy and both musicians are individuals to keep an eye on.'"