Neither noodling nor noise: invigorating kitchen sink adventures of a coffee-fueled rhythm section.
When musicians decide to improvise together without concurring on a theme or lapsing into a jam, results more often than not are cacophony if not catastrophy, yet drummer Vaughan and guitarist Hayden, who wielded a bass for their 2-hour session, serendipitously conquered the chances of calamity and produced something more than simply momentary magic. Disjointed and locking in at the same time, their instruments engage in arresting interplay where percussive telepathy floats to the surface and then flies out the window, together with caution, to land on ultimate unpredictability that is, rather unexpectedly, irresistible, so the hour spent in the company of this album may enrich the listener’s life experience.
The ominous, cymbals-stricken throb of “Process, Pt. I” can reveal a shadow of groove and theatrical thunder, but the funk of the piece’s epic follow-up feels natural in its muscle-flexing joviality whose progressive leanings straighten the elusive melody to make the tune serious towards the end. With the third number’s gallop slightly dampened, Si’s sci-fi strings strategies masterfully complement G’s sparse splashes of beats before the drift becomes entrancing, while the intensity of “Pt. 4” is truly tribal even without a heavy riff. It’s only “Process, Pt. 5” that’s the epitome of abstract on display until the groove is back to bring the record to an almost triumphant close.
So “Process” might not be the best title for this album: existing “in the moment” yet leaving a memorable trail, it doesn’t seem to be elaborate but it shakes emotions on a gut level.