John Zorn: Ipsissimus (Tzadik, 10/5/10)
John Zorn: “Warlock”
[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/John_Zorn_Moonchild_Warlock.mp3|titles=John Zorn: “Warlock”]
Morrow: In 2006, indefatigable composer John Zorn launched another of his countless ensembles — Moonchild, a sludgy power trio built around vocalist Mike Patton, bassist Trevor Dunn, and drummer Joey Baron. In the four albums that began with Moonchild: Songs without Words, Zorn has used the group to explore heavy and spastic improvisations amid composed riffs and directed song structures.
The lineup has expanded a bit for a few releases, but that wild trio is the group’s heart, with Patton offering wordless shrieks, chants, and vocal spasms over Dunn and Baron’s distorted notes and progressive rhythms. Ipsissimus is the group’s fifth release in less than five years, and it’s the first to prominently feature the guitar work of Marc Ribot, who appeared on one track of the 2008 release The Crucible.
Hajduch: In description, this sounds like a whole lot of John Zorn’s projects (in the case of Naked City, you sub out Mike Patton and add Yamantaka Eye of Boredoms, but the description still fits to an extent). In practice, it’s very different. Patton feels extraneous to an extent — like Attila Csihar‘s work with Mayhem, it can seem sort of like there is just this guy, making noises. But also like Attila/Mayhem, there are moments where it just fits perfectly and feels exactly right.