Review: Nathan Corder & Tom Weeks – Anaconda (Noise Pelican, Apr 5)

On Anaconda, the newest offering from Florida label Noise Pelican Records, abstract virtuosos Nathan Corder and Tom Weeks’ improvisations coil and slither just like the album’s titular serpent. The unlikely pairing of Weeks’ very harmonic, scalar saxophone playing with Corder’s bizarre electronic spasms is an interesting one. But after “Knot,” the short and schizophrenic opening track, it starts to become clear that the contributions of the two musicians do not create as much of a juxtaposition as it would originally seem. “Lean” begins with a jazzy serenade by Weeks, which is slowly joined by brief, segmented electronic bursts that begin to build in intensity. I’d describe the piece as more of a conversation than anything; it almost seems like the artists are learning from each other as it progresses, with the saxophone becoming more frenetic and atonal to match Corder’s increasing presence. And the rest of the record is no different. From the explosive, body wracking intro to “Swallowed” to the mechanical oscillations of “Cycle” (where the moments of unity between the cracking electronics and saxophone flurries are some of the album’s most mind-blowing), it all cements the alluring chemistry of these two improvisers.

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