Review: Lisa Cameron, Damon Smith & Alex Cunningham – Time Without Hours (Storm Cellar, Oct 14)

November 2020’s Dawn Throws Its First Knife, the first collaboration by this trio of Lisa Cameron (percussion), Damon Smith (double bass), and Alex Cunningham (violin), was not a release for which I expected a sequel. So Alex sending me a copy of Time Without Hours, as he generously does with much of his output, was a wonderful surprise—and even with any high expectations set by the excellent debut, the music on this tape itself is unsurprisingly wonderful. The session that produced the set of five tracks took place nearly a year and a half after the improvisers initially gathered, and in their playing a ramp-up of both individual technique and collective consciousness is palpable. As loose and rickety as it often is, the dialect the three weave is clearly defined and consistently infectious from the very first tangle of “Ember on My Eyelids.” Though the “drums” role is credited to Cameron, everyone plays with an ear for atonal tactility; just listen to Cunningham’s taps and scrapes flap like tattered moth wings over the lumbering half-groove in “A Wave Reborn” or the rattling, dynamic skitter-symphony of “Handfuls of Shadow.” Side B culminates with “Plentitude in the Void,” a moody masterpiece of a track complete with crunchy bow drones and a somber, dirgelike atmosphere dark as pitch.