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Frederick Galiay - Time Elleipsis

Glenn Astarita, AllAboutJazz * * * *

This largely electric French quintet discloses a vastly experimental and often fascinating series of works that intertwine into a multipart suite of indexed titles directed by bassist Frederick Galiay. As the press material states, the bassist "was a laureate for a Hors les murs residency program initiated by the French Institute," spanning Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Here, the musicians explore subterranean depths via shadowy sonic textures and on the opener "Nâga Convulsions," venture into electronic minimalist terrain amid the semblances of low gravity enactments and avant-garde death metal incidences. Hence, the band seems as though it is providing a soundtrack for the discovery of a sunken middle ages frigate buried in the Atlantic Ocean.

"Luasamla | Points Cardinaux" features a torrential downpour of Sébastien Brun and Franck Vaillant's rumbling drum patterns and electric guitarist Jean-Sébastien Mariage's distortion-based crunch chords along with the quintet's free form noise-sculpting techniques. Add the leader's monster bass lines and colossal background effects and you get the sense that a catastrophic event is in the making. But "Nirmanakaya | Dhyana" is framed on a balls to the wall type improvised punk groove, akin to some of Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore's radical solo albums. Moreover, electric baritone saxophonist Antoine Viard's raspy intonations and Mariage's placid voicings are countered by the drummers' barbaric gong hits and swooshing cymbals splashes.

The presentation is slightly altered by the sax and bass led four-note theme on "Dharmakâya | Oiseaux Terrifants," atop pulsating rhythms and thrash rock style snippets, while descending into a cavernous ancient temple for some soul cleansing initiatives. And of course, this is not background music; it demands critical listening as the musicians execute a semi-structured post-modern muse with antiquated implications and a vivid aural cinema for one's psyche.