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05/14/12

Ergo
If Not Inertia
Cuneiform Records

This wildly experimental electro-acoustic ensemble, led by trombonist, composer and computer maven Brett Sroka and featuring guitarist Mary Halvorson, drummer Shawn Baltazor and keyboardist Sam Harris, concocts some strangely compelling music. From the droning, Terry Riley-inspired loops of “Sorrows of the Moon” to the exquisite music-box pointillism of “Two for Joy” and the free-jazz vehicle “Little Shadow,” nothing is predictable or tame on If Not Inertia. Adding to the sense of creative daring, the leader whistles an ominous theme on the droning title track, and Halvorson unleashes a torrent of pitch-shifted notes, fretboard skronking and feedback squalls on the dense, turbulent “The Widening Gyre.” Adventurous ears will appreciate what these sonic seekers are putting down here.

Originally published in May 2012
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