How much noise do you think two saxophonists and a guitarist can make? Okay, now imagine ten times that. Imagine a screeching ululating fuzzed-out roar that reduces your teeth to shards and your internal organs to pulsing red mush. Thats the sound of Borbetomagus. That, and much more. An upstate New York trio, Borbetomagus been blurring the lines between free jazz, electronic noise, and sound-as-weapon since the late 70s. The groups albums have titles like Barbed Wire Maggots and Snuff Jazz, and live up to them. The three men involved saxophonists Jim Sauter and Don Dietrich, and guitarist Donald Miller have sworn in numerous interviews that when theyre at full crank, each man blasting through enough pedals to keep the most gear-happy metal guitarist shredding joyously for weeks, they cant tell whos making what sound. And yet, this is no mere caveman assault. These guys know exactly what theyre doing. Masters of their instruments, they synthesize decades of avant-garde technique into unique and utterly personal music-making that combines emotional catharsis and volume-based assault with real beauty. Listen carefully, and youll recognize a lifetime of thoughtful interaction underpinning their exchanges and collective playing. Youve never heard anything like this.
Sat., Nov. 21, 8 p.m., 2009
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.