Tabs Out | Fire Death – Circuit Of The Stars

Fire Death – Circuit Of The Stars
3.21.15 by Ian Franklin

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Blast through the cranial crevices of the mind’s galaxy and you’ll unearth this gleaming gem of shining brilliance. By another name, this gem is known as “Circuit of The Stars” the newest C30 tour tape from Fire Death. This Cleveland supergroup of Ben Osborne (Bass Clarinet, Tape Loops, Guitar), J. Guy Laughlin (Percussion), and Matthew Gallagher (Rot Ton Box, more on that later) play a refined and blistering form of free jazz with expert attention to shifting dynamics and a constant communicative interplay between performers. Whether throwing squealing walls of scorched clarinet and fractured electronics, to stripped down utterances of sound, Fire Death move as one cohesive unit.

Feeding off each other at every turn the group staggers forward, lunging at times into the beyond with fiery blasts of shrieks and dense clusters of hidden snare fills. Passages of staccato flares and bursts of oscillating howls fly around the galaxy and reflect of the mirrored walls. Acoustic tones blend into digital realms, moving freely between the dimensions. Furious and chaotic wails from the Rot Ton Box, a hybrid, no-input, conglomeration of “ancient useless” rack gear assembled over the years by Osborne and played expertly here by Gallagher, morphs in and around sections of upper register acrobatics from Osborne, the two melting and combining into pools of molten energy. Anchoring it all is the percussion of Laughlin who has an uncanny ability to put forth bursts of lightning fast fills into confined elements of chaos. Much of Fire Death’s power revolves around the struggle of tension and release, moving quickly from segments of sustained pause to blasts of unrestrained luminescence. The tension holds the structure and the performers dance around within, accentuating different elements of the whole.

Props to engineer James Kananen on the production, the sound quality is superb. Laughlin’s individually mic’ed drums and a well rounded sound to Osborne and Gallagher’s explorations really allows the interplay of the performers to be admired. In an edition of 100 with white shells you can grip a copy at one of Fire Death’s upcoming shows.

3.21.15 in Richmond, VA
3.22.15 in Washington, DC
3.23.15 in Baltimore, MD
3.25.15 in NYC
3.26.15 in New Haven
3.27.15 in Boston

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