The Next Delusion Sextet make barometric music, fluctuating, at times crushing gale force streams of energy music for our times.
The three woodwind, three percussionist noise wall presses and roils, maintaining the sort of pressure you feel when the air is charged, the elements are gathering and converging from every direction, and the unrest can be felt on the skin.
Next Delusion’s barometric music is ominous, in the Latinate sense, bearing an augur of something that never quite arrives. This is a massed wall noise without a climax, all ne plus ultra – but not to the point of exhaustion, as the ensemble keeps its three pieces to a total of 27 minutes. The Sextet sustains a highly pressurized atmosphere, the weight of its hyper-dense constructions quelled right at the breaking point. It is this striking quality that distinguishes Next Delusion from the free energy music of the 70’s, an obvious tributary to their music.
One might reflexively mistake the sextet, by dint of their instrumentation and the inclusion of building blocks of multiphonics, indeterminate pitches, and other scalar elements, as a capitulation to 70’s energy music. They are evocative of some of that decade’s luminaries; drummers Steven Hess, Frank Rosaly and Michael Hartman are orchestral in effect, reminiscent of 1984’s superb, short-lived Pieces of Time drum project (comprised of Milford Graves, Andrew Cyrille, Don Moye and Kenny Clarke). Baritone saxophonist and project catalyst Boris Hauf owns the timbral range and electrifying urgency of that era’s excellent, obscure baritone player Jouck Minor, whose few recorded projects burn and bruise, as does Hauf here.
As was the case on Next Delusion’s inaugural release in 2010, Jason Stein and Keefe Jackson privilege timbral contrast and variety over full-lunged freak outs, their plaited and plied horn lines as dramatic as the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s most exploratory work. The antecedents of that decade are less the pure adrenaline of Archie Shepp, more the concentrated, pressured play of Cecil Taylor and Jimmy Lyons.
Next Delusion’s anticyclonic sound world is disquieting, exhortative, even, before the storm gathers, luminous, carrying on its mighty clouds a radically clarified message – “storm’s coming!”
In this regard, Next Delusion couldn’t be more of our time.
Shameless Records | 2016