Dan’l Boone is Charles Ballas (Formant), Neil Hagerty (ex Royal Trux, Howling Hex), Nate Young (Wolf Eyes, Regression) and Alex Moskos (Drainolith) they have a self-titled album out on September 24th on Drag City. The promo that comes with the album – which talks about a distant earth like planet 5,000 light years away – appears on the surface to have little at all to do with the musical content. Indeed further gnomic utterances from the band members shed little light on what this is all about. All I can divine is that the proposition is the music is meant to be for the people who might live on that planet.
On one hand this album could be seen as pretentious self-indulgent noodling – on the other hand it’s a work of sonic genius – i’ll leave you to work out which of those extremes applies. To my mind it appears that the four musicians are applying a free jazz aesthetic to their compositions (if indeed that is what they are), and i’m talking Cecil Taylor at his most obtuse, or something dragged kicking and screaming from a German free jazz workshop. The other thing it calls to mind is experimental sonic artists Biota, or the more extreme parts of a Sonic Youth album, or JOMF and bands of that ilk.
There is no specific form here – in essence, and for the most part, it is a collection of layered and interacting shards of noise – be it vocal, what sounds like defenestrated guitars, non percussion instruments used as percussion, or synthesizer squawks and swirls. That is until the fourth track which is an ambient/dub leaning piece which melts into an a wall of colliding voices, and fifth track which sounds like the soundtrack to a particularly horrific science fiction film, with Dylan Carlson-esque guitar interventions.
A challenging listen for the most part, I enjoyed it immensely, whether you would is another matter entirely, and I guess that’s the point.