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SYCH - Lunar Roulette

Artist: Wally Shoup
SYCH - Wally Shoup - Lunar Roulette CD
Label: Strange Attractors
Regular Price: $12.95
On Sale For: $5.18 
Year: 2011
Format: CD


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Listen NowHermetic Mosaic
"Each of these musicians is a brilliant creative force in his own right, and as a quartet they are capable of blistering ecstatic play as well as voyages into novel, subtle textural forms." - Creative Music Guild (Portland, OR)

SYCH is both an acronym for the dream-team avant jazz quartet of Wally Shoup/C. Spencer Yeh/Chris Corsano/Bill Horist, and the heady, buzzing state of mind achieved while immersed in their glorious fire-ringed soundpools. The players' combined resume reads as a borderline hyperbolic who's who of contemporary experimental and improvised music: Shoup is a free jazz veteran from Seattle, WA who leads his Wally Shoup Trio and Project W, and has collaborated with Nels Cline (Wilco etc), Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth etc), and Paul Flaherty; Yeh is most known for leading Burning Star Core and boasts countless live and recorded collaborations in his own right; Corsano is a shining light in avant music, most recently as a member of Rangda (with Sir Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny) and is a tremendously in-demand and diverse percussionist, performing with people that range (literally) from Bjork to Jandek, and on recordings with Six Organs of Admittance, Nels Cline and dozens more; Horist is a West Coast signature guitarist, composer and improviser, with scores of recordings and collaborations alongside such names as Bill Frisell, Eugene Chadbourne, and Steve Fisk. The sum of the individual parts is staggering as displayed on Lunar Roulette, an astonishing album brimming with ecstatic excursions into the outer regions of free music.

Lunar Roulette is the direct result of an inspired whim by Shoup, who invited Corsano and Yeh to come play the Seattle Improvised Music Festival in February 2010 with Horist, a friend and frequent hometown collaborator. What occurred was a fountainhead of creative interplay culminating in a set for Sonarchy Radio, an ongoing series for Seattle's KEXP in which artists converge in the studio at Jack Straw Productions for live-in-the-studio performances broadcast over the air. Lunar Roulette is culled from this performance, fine tuned to bring out the absolute best in the individuality of each player and their uncanny cohesion. SYCH billows forth with some of the most unusual and genre-pushing music heard to ooze from both jazz and free rock circles alike. The burly and frenetic combination of Corsano/Shoup/Horist is enriched by the orchestral nature of Yeh's violin…and when Yeh interjects with his Yamtastuka Eye-esque vocal improvisations, the whole aircraft launches into entirely alien terrain. Make no mistake, it's not just solid skronk-freakouts bellowing from the belly of SYCH, but Lunar Roulette is often strikingly subtle, with various passages exploring lilting and ethereal moods, with some outright accessibility within the oddness. SYCH shows exactly why these folks are the world's top players in improvised music and have been for years. Let's hope Lunar Roulette is a harbinger for many more soul-grinding sessions to come.
SYCH: Wally Shoup (alto sax); C. Spencer Yeh (violin, voice); Chris Corsano (drums, percussion, sax neck); Bill Horist (electric guitar)
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