If you’ve had enough of the fidget and scrape school of improv, may I suggest you try a large draught of Klaxon Gueule? Klaxon Gueule is not an exotic liqueur, it is in fact a band, a guitar,bass and drums trio to be exact. As such you might fairly expect them to do a lot of muscular interplay and virtuosic soloing but you’d be wrong, in fact they make sounds that are about as far removed from traditional power trio playing as it’s possible to make.
The trio’s first effort, a double entitled Bavards, was an energetic ensemble effort which touched on improv, punk and a variety of other styles. Muets, their second disc, throws out the rulebook and sets about creating an eerie world of dry scrapings and sudden electric interjections.
Stylistically AMM may be the closest reference, however the trio eschews longform investigations in favour of short, measured meditations.
The first few tracks concentrate on a microtonal sound world of string scrapings, rustling noises and gentle electric rumbles then track 4 breaks the gently lulling ambience with shocking electric blasts. A metronomic device ticks away quietly in a bath of fidgeting, buzzing drones (a la Keith Rowe’s desktop guitar excursions). Assorted devices are rattled and strummed whilst dense jolts of power chords threaten to blot out the whole thing.
Track 5 displays a sudden change with a chorus of incomprehensible whispers are ridden over by Michel Côté’s rattling percussion work set against a background of phasing drones.
Track 8 inhabits a world of huge bass drones. A chiming percussion sample keeps time whilst Alexandre St-Onge’s arco bass thrums and bends the bottom end all out of shape. Bernard Falaise’s fractured electric guitar scrapes and keens over the top and the thing eventually mutates into a pulsing, vibrating mass.
The trio are credited with only guitar, bass and drums as instrumentation however I could swear other assorted electronic devices are in use such are the range of looped and manipulated sounds, Bernnard Falaise’s guitar in particular is expertly employed throughout like some kind of finely tuned sand blasting instrument, burnishing and tarnishing the contributions of the others.
If you thought guitar, bass and drums had nothing left to offer, Klaxon Gueule have served up a whole new cocktail that deserves your attention.