The Unsemble: The Unsemble

After-dark jams from underground rock veterans.

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Guitarist Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard, Tomahawk), bassist Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten) and drummer Brian Kotzur (Silver Jews) prove highly compatible bedfellows on this collaborative debut for Mike Patton’s Ipecac label. The Unsemble finds the trio pursuing a distinctly noirish strain of instrumentalism.

The more conspicuously rock-orientated tracks generate a needlepoint tension strongly reminiscent of Discipline-era King Crimson: Circles, Shadows and Act 3 are the most obviously Frippish in their nightmarish scuttling.

Yet The Unsemble is no carbon copy Crimson. Kotzur may not be the virtuoso Bill Bruford is, but coming from rock rather than jazz, he anchors the music rather than elbowing his way into it. There are also hints of non-rock music, such as dub on Waves, which indicate a broad outlook.

They echo Weather Report’s oft-repeated motto, ‘nobody solos, everybody solos’, the three musicians advancing as one, united in their explorations and although they do little to revolutionise the cause of instrumental rock here, they captivate by virtue of the considerable skill and chemistry at their command.