Fire! – Unreleased? (2011)

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Pour les connaisseurs! Fire! are the trio compound of Mats Gustafsson (The Thing), Johan Berthling (Tape) and Andreas Werliin (Wildbirds & Peacedrums) and “Unreleased?” is their second full length album, but this time they bring into the supergroup one more individual: Jim O’Rourke. Mats Gustafsson is an improviser, free jazz saxophone player, in 2000 he put together the Swedish/Norway trio, The Thing with bass player Ingebrigt HÃ¥ker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. The Thing is one of the must “media unfriendly” band: no MySpace, no YouTube channel, they mainly sell their records at the gigs, lucky me, I saw them once live. Swedish trio Tape (@ MySpace ) was set up in 2000 by brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling with Tomas Hallonsten and they merging pop and experimentalism in minimalist manner using both, acoustic and digital instruments. Wildbirds & Peacedrums (@ MySpace) is an experimental band from Sweden consisting of two members, Mariam Wallentin and her husband Andreas Werliin, merging experimental rock with psychedelic folk. Jim O’Rourke (@ MySpace) maybe knowned for played bass guitar, guitar and synthesizer with Sonic Youth, in addition to recording and mixing duties with the group, he joined the band in 1999 and left in 2005. O’Rourke is long associated with the Chicago experimental and improv scene, he has collaborated with Thurston Moore, Derek Bailey, Mats Gustafsson, Mayo Thompson, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Merzbow, Nurse With Wound, Phill Niblock, Fennesz, Organum, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, also he was once a member of Illusion of Safety and Gastr Del Sol and also released many albums under his own name on a variety of labels exploring a range of electronic and avant-garde styles, exploring different genres from jazz, noise to electronica and rock music.
“Unreleased?” – in my opinion – it’s about let yourself go, free, released. We’ve got four tracks, “Are You Both Still Unreleased?” (11.39), “…Please, I Am Released” (9.05), “By Whom And Why Am I Previously Unreleased?” (3.12) and “Happy Ending Borrowing Yours” (17.28), obviously all of them exploring the free, improvised area of experimental music where jazz and rock collide explosively. This is quite intense, but fresh, alive, breathing, quite crazy, but exciting. Fans of O’Rourke and Gustafsson/The Thing knows exactly what to aspect, others might be surprised or frightened. 😀
“Are You Both Still Unreleased?” set the tempo and the cacophony filled atmosphere of the album. “…Please, I Am Released” is the collision of space-rock and free jazz, the pumping drums are in direct struggle with Gustafsson crazy saxophone runs and the shattered guitars. “By Whom And Why Am I Previously Unreleased?” is the smoothest track, airy and mysterious laid on the deep bass theme and broken percussion while “Happy Ending Borrowing Yours” is the noisiest one, here everybody seems to focus on his own idea and exploration, it’s absolutely free and quite chaotic and fractured, but …incendiary.
I only can be thankful that it has been released.

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