«Churning of the Ocean» is the follow-up volume for the self-title album (Trost, 2019) that first documented the meeting of a new quartet of highly resourceful, cross-stream sonic polluters -American, Sonic Youth’s co-founder-guitarist Lee Ranaldo and film-director-guitarist-synth player Jim Jarmusch, Swiss-Italian producer-engineer-bass-electronics player Marc Urselli and Hungarian drummer Balázs Pándi. These musicians’ resumes accumulate the most important names of alternative, genre-defying and most innovative musicians in the last decades, from Keiji Haino, Merzbow, Mats Gustafsson, John Zorn, Mike Patton, Nick Cave, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, to name just a few.
«Churning of the Ocean» offers five evocative, nocturnal free-improvisations, captured by Urselli at his studio, EastSide Sound Studios,in New York in 2019, who recorded, mixed, mastered and produced this session, with no overdubs or editing. Like on its debut album, the music flows organically and these four musicians enjoy egalitarian dynamics. The atmosphere sounds apocalyptic as if this album was meant to be a soundtrack to a dark horror film, and the spacious, thorny music informs about the inevitable, horrific scenes about to happen with hypnotic, vibrating-distorted gestures.
The epic, opening piece «Infinite Rain» introduces this dark atmosphere. The following, short «Tectonic Mantle» suggests lyrical veins amid the meditative wall of sounds. The center-piece, the 19 minutes of the «Quivering Air» drone sketches first a threatening, claustrophobic atmosphere, realized with layers of colliding and resonating guitar lines, but later the massive, tribal drumming of Pándi and the processed bass of Urselli shed some light on this dark piece. The short, «Night of Webs», with its manipulated voice samples, and the last, hypnotic drone «Threshing Fields» stress the unpredictable and uncompromising dynamics of this session.
Lee Ranaldo (g, pedals, bells), Jim Jarmusch (g, pedals, mini-synth), Marc Urselli (b, laptop), Balázs Pándi (dr)