Exploding Customer - Live at Glenn Miller Café

Randy McElligott, Jazz Review

Exploding Customer is a group of creative musicians not afraid to push the boundaries of improvised music. With intensity, force and determination, this quartet from Sweden are on a mission of extreme possibilities. Not for the faint of heart, their sound is the equivalent to Cecil Taylor's "Sheets of Sound" approach. Always challenging, cutting, biting and shear explosiveness, their sound is one of the most mind twisting challenges you will ever experience.
Kuchen and Hallonsten's torrential intro to Pygmi settles into a joyous melody featuring Kuchen's wailing sax. Hallonsten's distant trumpet marches along to the beat of the sax as if to ride on the coattails of the fractured melody. One feels a sense of tension and release throughout this vehicle. It's as if you are driving a truck through a rough ride with a compliment of smooth roads along the way. When Hallonsten takes his muted solo, Quigley's pulsating yet understated bass, gives the tune support and meaning.
Walking down a dark alley, not sure where to go?

Speak! delivers this kind of mood and vision. Kuchen's imaginative playing evokes dark alleys, unknown possibilities and streams of angst. Nordeson's spiritual drumming and percussive motif's herald a new foundation to work from. This lightly swinging number gives each member of the group a chance to indulge in the creative process. Hallonsten's burning trumpet weaves in and out, searching for that next phrase that will lift the moment to new heights.
Slowly but surely, Kuchen's opening statement feels like a storm might be on the horizon. This unsettling calm gives way to a frenzied and swinging affair. The band takes off in a new direction. Moving the spirit of the moment even closer to their intent. The intent being a chance to free flow with some determined playing and inspired group interaction. After the storm, we return to calm, and all is well in the land of A Broken Glass.

Taking a ride on a Corsican Train is to say the least an unforgettable adventure. Kuchen and Hallonsten's tentative opening statement, could prove to be a very long ride. The pace quickens as the ensemble moves in a hurried and frantic direction. Saxes wailing, trumpet's pleading. Pandemonium reigns supreme. Quigley's bowed excursion solidifies the moment. What moment? There are a series of moments all at once congealing into a stew of creative prowess. All at once, the parties over.

A responsive and appreciative crowd that night, helped the band reach their potential on some rather difficult music from Kuchen. The benefits are that you leave with a renewed sense of hope, and spirit. Exploding Customer challenges not only themselves and the music, but the listener as well. After all, it's the music that counts.