|Review courtesy of All About Jazz:
Sound sojourners Jeff Kaiser and Andrew Pask create unique sonic landscape on The Choir Boys, utilizing both the instrumental expertise for which each is known, as well as tapping their broader ambitions with live processing. The music ranges from ambient electronic, to industrial Stockhausen, with plenty of hard blowing along the way.
Pask begins with his bass penny whistle, processed while he plays. The swirling and smearing goes from a panpipes sound to impending storm. With the whistle put aside, low rumbling machines dominate. Clarinet rises from the electric shower, and participates as one sound among many. “Dim Effigies” begins with a sound like dental work gone terribly wrong. An elaboration on Japanese noise music, a startling metallic drone creates the backdrop for Pask’s blistering alto improv. After a solo muse, rich oily electronic sound wavers slightly, with Pask’s calming bleep which becomes looped and distorted.
Vocal clarinet opens “Carbon Icon,” with Kaiser’s muted trumpet giving rapid chase. Small electronic flashes mar the monolithic drone. Pask again weaves clarinet through the burbling background. Kaiser, processed almost beyond recognition, sets “The Variability of Stammering Arrows” in motion. His muted tones circulate through the speakers with distorted echoes. Pask’s clarinet then feeds the altering software more tones. Kaiser puts his horn through its paces with loops and distortions coming back at him. Kaiser, with Pask on soprano, play out.
On “Blue Air Habit” Pask’s tenor plays off instant reworkings of his own phrases, triggering otherworldly responses. Interdimensional drones with altered sax ruminations end it. A slightly modified duo, “Tumbling Abstention” takes Kaiser on some lip shredding passages that bounce back. “Reliquaries” features an uncluttered improvised duet with clarinet and trumpet.
After releasing the large and complex Alchemical Mass, Kaiser demonstrates in his collaboration with Pask his ability to swing from stars in a duet setting as well.