Vortex Generation Mechanisms

by Turbulence

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    Review by Karl Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com
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    In several of his Evil Clown groups such as String Theory, New Language Collaborative, Metal Chaos Ensemble and Leap of Faith, David Peck (aka PEK) employs enough instrumentation to supply a marching band (though they would be an odd lot for sure). On his Turbulence project, Vortex Generation Mechanisms, he leaves much of that unconventional battery in the boot. Which is not to say that there is any shortage of musical tools in the mix.
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    Turbulence—like many of the Evil Clown staple groups—has a rotational lineup where PEK himself is the one constant. Their first album, Flow Regimes, Volume 1 (2015), a joint outing with Leap of Faith, featured the group as a quintet. Vortex Generation Mechanisms, however, is a duet with the focus on PEK and fellow mulit-reedist Steve Norton. But the saxophone/clarinet central point is still surrounded by a total of eighteen "instruments" of far-flung origins.
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    The title track—a fifty-plus minute sonic voyage—is the sole piece on Vortex Generation Mechanisms. It seamlessly move across terrains that greatly vary in texture. At times PEK and Norton lose each other in a tangle of notes but find their way back to a quasi-center. In other phases of the piece, languid lines, sometimes ominous, from the bass clarinet mix with rasping metal and other odd sounds. One can imagine air being let out of a balloon in the midst of bells and gongs and yet a musical quality incorporates these outlying elements as part of the imagery.
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    Vortex Generation Mechanisms veers between minimalism and an air-driven calliope coming off the rails. Despite employing a plethora of non-conventional tools, the music always has a sense of meaningfulness; it can be calming and disconnected at the same time. As a result, it is always more provoking than pacifying. Like much Evil Clown's output, this is a project that organically grows with each listening.
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1.

about

Evil Clown 9095
Evil Clown Headquarters
Waltham, MA
2/26/2016

credits

released February 26, 2016

PEK - tenor, alto, sopranino saxes, contra-alto clarinet, sheng, gaunzi, daxophone, theremin, Korg ms-20, metal, whistles, electronics
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Steve Norton - bartione, alto, sopranino saxes, alto, contra-alto clarinets, metal

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about

Turbulence Boston, Massachusetts

Turbulence is a wind ensemble formed to be the extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra. They also perform as an independent unit. The band features PEK and Steve Norton on woodwinds from Leap of Faith along with various other woodwind and brass players including David Harris, Charlie Kohlhase and Bob Moores. ... more

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