Brian Chase and Seth Misterka Duo: The Shape of Sound Review

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Brian Chase & Seth Misterka Duo: The Shape of Sound (Heathen Skulls Records)

As many of you would be well aware, Brian Chase is best known for his work as the drummer for art-rock funksters The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, for which you could be forgiven for thinking would be some sort of starting point for the Brian Chase and Seth Misterka duo. Instead, ‘The Shape of Sound’ starts as a classic free jazz inspired improvisational album; sexy and sporadic saxophone layered over the top of eclectic drum beats with a definite jazz feel. I was certainly surprised when the rest of the album then takes a path that could not be farther from its free jazz beginnings. The album takes shape by experimenting with noise art and concepts of improvisation around an unsaid beat. There are pieces throughout ‘The Shape of Sound’ that are easy to fall into and get lost within, but Chase and Misterka have created a great amount of tension within these realms. At times the tension is mountainous, such as on ‘Trapezium’, where the sounds are continuous and confusing. If you’re not one for eclecticism, ‘The Shape of Sound’ would certainly be intimidating and uneasy to listen to, especially towards the middle of the album with ‘Mr. BC’ and ‘Trapezium’ being the most awkward (yet intriguing) pieces. And just to confuse me more, the following track, ‘Nonagon’ delves into more noise-art orientated territory, breaking away from any preconceptions or notions I had at the beginning of the album. Brian Chase and Seth Misterka’s ‘The Shape of Sound’ is a confusing whirlwind of experimentation that destroys the context of which I listened to it one track at a time. In saying that, however, I thoroughly enjoyed this album, as it’s ever-changing nature kept me on my toes throughout.

Liza Harvey

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One Response to “Brian Chase and Seth Misterka Duo: The Shape of Sound Review”

  1. Urr Says:

    Smug.

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