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This Magnetic Moment
Unkettled
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BOOTSTRAPPERS Xenolith

CD album | gg390
Bootstrapping manifests a self-organizing sonic system from nothing. The seed is the impulse, the mechanism is improvisation. Bootstrappers is the name for Sharp's improvising rock trio. This latest edition of the group features longtime collaborators Melvin Gibbs on electric bass, drummer Don McKenzie, and Elliott Sharp on 6 & 12-string guitars and electronics. The music reflects the classic rock trio filtered through the ethos of cyberpunk, techno, and free jazz: raging, psychedelic, and filled with fantastic extrapolations. One may hear strains of Jimi Hendrix "Band Of Gypsies", Bela Bartok string quartets, and Ornette Coleman's harmolodics. The history of Bootstrappers begins in 1990, with Sharp, then signed to the California label SST (started by Black Flag's Greg Ginn) calling on the Minutemen/Firehose rhythm section of bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley to play some concerts and record an album mixing studio and live tracks. The gigs and sessions were exhilarating and the results were released as the eponymous album Bootstrappers on the New Alliance imprint from SST. The group played a number of concerts in California (including opening for Joe Satriani!) as well as the Rotterdam Jazz Festival. The next edition of Bootstrappers was manifest in 1994 for the Dossier label in Berlin with the rhythm section of Jan and Tom Kotik on drums and bass. In later versions from then to now, Sharp has called upon various friends and colleagues to take part in bootstrapping. This roster has included Tony Lewis, Anton Fier, Dave Hofstra, Brent MacLachlan, Russ Flynn, Sim Cain, and Andrew Weiss. Future editions of Bootstrappers may see the group expand to orchestral dimensions. Full tracklist: 1. Telentelechy 2. This Magnetic Moment 3. Harmolalia 4. Seize The Mement 5. Lo Shu 6. Astrocytes 7. Unklettled. Price: € 18,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.

Tudi na aktualnem albumu Xenolith ne miruje. Ob pomoči bobnarja Dona McKenzieja in basista Melvina Gibbsa divje škreblja, drsi, vleče, obira po kitarskih strunah, ki ječijo, cvilijo, zavijajo, hrumijo, da mu je težko slediti. Pravzaprav igra vse, razen žanrskih oblik, teh se zavestno in načrtno ogiblje. Za bas-bobnarsko navezo bi bilo najlaže, če bi se držala svojega tempa, ampak ne. Tudi Don in Melvin se dinamično odzivata na Sharpovo igranje, včasih sledita, drugič vlečeta na svoje, kot da so povezani z neko navidezno elastično nitjo.
(Rock Orobje, December 2021)

There is a lot going on, but where Bootstrappers succeeds and stand apart is their being only three: this necessitates more minimal arrangements and means they’re not prone to the spells of chaotic discoordination whereby it sounds like six people playing six different tunes in different keys and different time signatures, and instead feels altogether more focused for the most part, and as a result, they do pitch into some nice grooves that you can really get into.
(Aural Aggravation, December 2021)

Musicalmente, il disco vede confluire una grande varietà di influenze all interno di un microcosmo che rimane comunque quello del rock improvvisato. Le suggestioni sono diverse, dal free jazz, molto presente, alla techno, passando addirittura per il cyberpunk, ma il vero filo conduttore dei brani è un profluvio di distorsioni dall effetto straniante e psichedelico, che trasforma i brani in un viaggio lisergico disegnato dal basso, raccontato dalle chitarre e scandito dalla batteria.
(Music Map, January 2022)

Die sieben für das neue Album entstandenen, rein instrumentalen Stücke beruhen nach wie vor viel auf Improvisation und Jams und beziehen sich nach wie vor auf Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies, Bela Bartok und Ornette Coleman. Ein kruder, unvereinbarer Mix? Nun ja, das kommt darauf an, was man vom wem nimmt und wo man es wie einsetzt. (...) Xenolith gelingt eine nahezu perfekte Mischung aus Experiment und Rock, Improvisation und Komposition. Ein Stück Musik genau an der Grenze zwischen Rock und Experimentalmusik, die das Album für offene Hörer zum perfekten Einstieg in die etwas schrägeren Seiten des Rock macht.
(Handwritten Mag, January 2022)