NOISE IN YOUR EYE – Noise in Your Eye
(niye Records niye001. CD Review by Duncan Heining)
NOISE IN YOUR EYE are the Wiltshire-based duo of Adrian Chivers and Daniel Pennie and this is their debut release. The pair make music collectively, using improvisation and intuition, refashioning the results later in the studio. If that sounds a bit left-field for your tastes, just think of all those great Miles Davis records Teo Macero pieced together in much the same way. And, of course, a lot of film music is made like that.
End of the day, it’s results that count and this rather splendid. That it’s (maybe) the great Keith Tippett’s last recording adds more than a little poignancy to the affair, a reminder perhaps of Keith’s contributions to King Crimson. Add to that, drummers Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Michael Giles (Crimson, McDonald & Giles) and Ian Matthews (Kasabian) and saxophonist Brandon Allen and this is a bit of a stellar affair. But this would be a fine record without the star names. Somehow or other, Chivers and Pennie have made an album where every sound seems just right.
Take “Limits-of-Control.” It’s built around a North-African sounding riff and pulse. At its heart are the twin drums of Michael Giles and Kasabian’s Ian Matthews. Over the top, you hear Brandon Allen’s tenor and Caroline Dale’s cello. Their function is to guide the strongly modal melody through the miasma of sounds created by Chivers, Pennie, Tippett and Arnie Somogyi. Anyone who has ever tried to negotiate a souk in Marrakesh or Tunis will know what I mean – it sounds like that, it feels like that. Don’t fight against it. Just go with the flow.
Or “Zombie-Johnson,” the next track. There’s just so much happening here. Keith Tippett’s prepared piano throws in toy-time sounds. Dan Reid’s trumpet cuts through the fog, while the saxophones of Allen and James Gardener-Bateman fight for space. The whole thing is built upon a kaleidoscope of cascading rhythms and interweaving guitars and electronics. Is it jazz? It’ll do for me.
The key to Chivers and Pennie’s approach lies in a love of film. Think of those films that became so much more because of their soundtracks. Think of Elmer Bernstein, Ennio Morricone, Hugo Montenegro or Lalo Schifrin. This is music for the un-made films that run through the minds of its creators. The claustrophobic “NTT” could be science fiction or a labyrinthine, psychological thriller. “44-Steps,” with Caroline Dale’s gorgeous cello and Tiit Kikas’ equally lovely violin, is a city coming alive at dawn, its early morning denizens slowly giving way to office and store workers and shoppers who will people it once more.
“The-Dark-Spot” is a policier with its staccato riffs and train sounds, while “Limbo-Lines” reminded me of one of those guitar-led soundtracks Ry Cooder created for directors such as Wim Wenders. And “Scent,” perhaps, betokens something more romantic – love discovered or re-discovered. There is not a duff track on this album. There is not a moment or a sound wasted. There is not an effect or interjection that isn’t perfect. This is one hell of a debut release.
Categories: CD review