artists: Dave Jackson, Wayne Rex
title: First Offence (Live in London)/ Sticks and Stones (Live in Bristol)
keyboards: dave jackson, experimental, freeform jazz, live jazz, skronk, uk jazz, wayne, rex, experimental music, free jazz, noise music, noiserock, space music, Florida
Firstly, and dare I say it, most importantly, the astute among you will have noticed that I put in keyboards instead of keywords. Such was the nature of my state of exhaustion. It’ll be a fun one, kiddos.
A note of warning though, if you don’t like free jazz, you might want to take your exit immediately.
That being said, Wayne Rex and Dave Jackson come out full force, launching us right into the action. One might call it a First Offence (ha ha ha, you see I pretend to be a writer some times and this is what happens). Ok, moving on. Bombastic snares and a daring sax cause such a commotion that one can’t help but get lost in the revelry before slightly mellowing out, somewhat disjointed tones and moods beginning to take shape.
Hey, here’s a side note. Every time I listen to this release, I can’t help but get the image that I’m in some sort of exotic (I’m feeling of heavy Moroccan influence but I feel somewhere else might be a more suitable locale, maybe some sort of remote Southeast Asian island, yeah that works for me) cafe, filled with expatriates to form some sort of creative collective, with this duo in the corner playing their soul out, me clickety clackety on a typewriter, feverish sweat pouring down my face as some sort of literary masterpiece escapes my fingers, everyone taking drags on their cigarettes every 15 seconds combined with the copious consumption of illicit substances, yet somehow that being the reason for how the place even functions to begin with. Still, everyone is tense for no reason because there is a sense of things needing to be done that aren’t and even those things get forgotten by the next drag. That’s just me though, and maybe that’s more Naked Lunch than me. Some sort of beatnik dystopia. Alright, let’s scrap it.
Minute 6 passes us by, and well, shit I seem to have forgotten how to review these sorts of things. This type of music, more than any other, I feel HAS to be experienced and dove into headfirst, and no amount of picturesque scenes and words can do it justice. It’s something you have to feel, and if you don’t feel it now, I hope you feel it at some point in your life. When it clicks for you, it is a wonderful feeling. Best thing to do is take your time, and if now isn’t the moment, at least keep it in the back of your head to try again at some later point.
And then silence. A few crying notes, and some light taps and a tension fills the air. What will come next? The anticipation, the waiting. Hints of something more and then dead silence. A few more clues, before a quick return into all sorts of ideas that decide to spring from mind to instrument and so forth before coming into some solid outro. Intense! I had to go back three or four times to hear that climatic finale yet again, what a burst of energy from seemingly nowhere. Ah yes, cheers! Well deserved indeed, and glad the audience liked it to.
Phew, and so does it for our first track. Onto the next then. This one titled Evidence. Dave Jackson leads us off as Wayne Rex joins in. I will be truthful here, I tend to get lost with these types of things. Seem to forget where I had began, and seem to forget that there is ever really an end. I am no expert or even a casual listener, so it’s easy to get lost in the moment, which if I had to wager might just be the point. Fast paced this track is. Hits hard and then disappears real quick with the sax plowing ahead, forging a path of sorts. It is incredible to me the depth that these two men are able to conjure up with their sonic sorcery. What I mean is, I have heard plenty of songs, with all sorts of rhythms and patterns and instruments and they are cleverly crafted and all that but they seem to be lacking a certain something. I’m not going to call it soul, because I don’t think it is, but it is a certain something that some musicians are able to tap into and I wholeheartedly feel these two are able to put forth in spades. Well, just to show how lost I got, the track is already over…
Which concludes the first portion of the live recording. So the second act begins.
Sticks and Stones starts off a lot more tonally. Still just as frantic but with a touch of some more solidified ideas. Cracking. I don’t know where I heard that descriptor but I feel it fits this bill rather well, fracturing minds into absolutely mental soundscapes. I have no idea why, but I am already having fun just listening to this (accompanied by some chair dancing)! Again, it is so easy to surrender yourself to the music, which I am doing more of now than just typing away in a sort of spaced out sort of way just letting words slip off the fingertips so that really there isn’t any meaning just fluff but hey fluff can be good in pillows and such and it seems I’m making less sense. A resounding feeling of YES! YES! YES! as the saxophone plays some heart stirring notes and then our percussion comes riding in, building and building before tip tap tapping back into the thick of it. We’re only halfway through folks, the ride just keeps on going. Round and round and round we go, will we stop? I sure don’t hope so. Then it gets into some nigh ritualistic screams of such a primal variety that I’m left out of breath. Jesus.
Lighter. That’s the feeling I get from Broken Walls. A rather big switch up, coming around, a bit more intrigue and maybe some seduction rather than the in your face madness I had come to expect from the previous tracks. Subtle to, it draws my ear in, to see the next step. A segue into an enrapturing percussion session. The tingling begins anew, energy coursing through the veins before being stretched back out, back into the lighter feel. My word. The moods and the flow they’re able to create on a dime is superb.
And all too soon we reach the final act. The Sharp End. Yet another one sprinting out the gate. No need to hold back to close it all out, just let the arms and fingers flail til there is nothing left. Well, maybe not nothing, then they wouldn’t be able to play, but you get the idea.
Well, so, I would say that this was a joy to listen to, and can’t wait to see what they do next. You can listen to/pick it up here:
And if you like to check out their individual efforts, you can check out the links below: