Pinkie No

Ben Bennett / Zoots Houston / Fred Lonberg-Holm | Pinkie No
Notice Recordings (CS/DL)

This trio brings a unique otherworldly sound thanks to Ben Bennett (percussion), Zoots Houston (synthesizer, objects) and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello). It’s not classical, not quite jazz, in fact, instead, this is a breakdown of improv performance art via their charismatic instruments. Pinkie No, in six parts wriggles, bloats, acquires minimal/maximal capacities, all in good timing.

Recorded live in Chicago, this likely would have been an unexpected set that stretches and contorts in ways uncommon, especially Lonberg-Holm’s supernatural strings. But the trio interacts in ways that complete each other’s thoughts. Even when things go into wallowing silences, each seems to make best of the shallow quietude with refined movements that jostle the ear just so.

Together they dis/arrange something hivelike, to the atmosphere of a crypt. These ears hear quite a bit of channeling of other spaces and times here. The closer you listen you may start to think the three are taking things apart, unraveling, and then, like a tango, unfurling back into formation. It is a dance. One where each player must remain incredibly lucid, and open, and ready to add or back off. Pinkie No has a distinctive ‘live’ feel to it.

This is noise sculpture in the works, in-progress. Some may refer to this even as ‘post’ noise – perhaps because it distinguishes live playing from the clamor and din results. But make no mistake, this trio has captured the visceral peeling back of all norms on this recording.

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