"This trio of Chris Corsano on drums, Bill Nace on electric guitar and Steve Baczkowski on saxophones was one of the most powerful albums of the drums-guitar-sax statement in 2018. Unfortunately the vinyl is already sold out."
My first listen to these four extraordinary pieces by Chris Corsano, Bill Nace, and Steve Baczkowski was over a very rough ferry crossing from Cairnryan to Belfast. It's hard not to think of the ghosts of impossible crossings, victories, loses, harbors in such rough waters. Why would anyone venture out here? Finding something new or an overdue visit? Ending all of the wars? For me, for my first listen to Mystic Beings instantly cured all motion sickness. It was probably just the very welcome adrenalin shots from their performance, but all the crashing and pitching over the waves became a joy. I was braver from listening in. Sometimes they hovered like a three-headed beacon -- a soaring vision to follow out on the horizon. Sometimes they seemed pulled into action and attack. Detonations and radio calls. Sometimes the spines of their own instruments cried out on the power of their own cores, their bodies having been left elsewhere. They drifted apart like a search party, skies clouded over, a spreading landscape streaked with transparent layers over layers. Or they joined together in quiet and unsparing ceremony, the kind usually reserved passing back through the place by which you've entered. All the while there was no scratching or banging at hard enclosed corners. These three players created a world of open space and flexible membrane, where any violence would only come from an outside imposition. Each of the songs read like movements in a larger work. As an eavesdropper, I added my own abstract, personal story over the whole album. I could repopulate new stories over and over again over this framework. The arc is that strong, and the conversation is that good. And even if just overheard, Mystic Beings generously called me out to where I needed to be. The shallows and the shores are where the worst dangers can find us, and our best chance of survival is sometimes out in the rolling depths. Deafen out the sirens and stay onward in the deep waters. Thank you, Bill and Chris and Steve, for sharing this kind of wild captain's safety with us.' --Meg Baird, Cairnryan and San Francisco, Nov 2018"
Available as 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC
1. Mystic Beings
2. Over The Line
3. The Truth Is Nothing To Worry About
4. Excuse Me
"...seriously one of the most exciting drummers on the planet." -Adam Richards, indieworkshop.com
Chris Corsano (b. 1975, USA) is an upstate NY-based drummer who has been active at the intersections of collective improvisation, free jazz, avant-rock, and noise music since the late 1990's. He began a long-standing, high-energy musical partnership with saxophonist Paul Flaherty in 1998. Their style, which they occasionally refer to with (semi-)tongue-in-cheek humor as "The Hated Music", combines modern free-jazz's ecstatic collectivist spirit and the urgency and intensity of hardcore punk.
A move from western Massachusetts to the UK in 2005 led Corsano to develop his solo music--a dynamic, spontaneously-composed amalgam of extended techniques for drum set and non-percussive instruments of his own making: e.g. bowed violin strings stretched across drum heads, modified reed instruments, and stockpiles of resonant metal. In February 2006, Corsano released his first solo recording, The Young Cricketer, and toured extensively throughout Europe, USA, Australia, and Japan. He spent 2007 and '08 as the drummer on Björk's Volta world tour, all the while weaving in shows and recordings on his days off with the likes of Evan Parker, Virginia Genta, C. Spencer Yeh, and Jandek.
Moving back to the U.S. in 2009, Corsano returned focus to his own projects, including a duo with Michael Flower, Vampire Belt (with Bill Nace), Rangda (with Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny) and his solo work, further expanded in its use of contact microphones and synthesizers. In 2017, he received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artist Award.
Corsano's dedication to collective improvisation has led to collaborations with many kindred spirits and his appearance on over 150 records and 1000 live performances. He's worked with, among others: Paul Dunmall (released by the label: ESP-Disk), Joe McPhee (Roaratorio), Okkyung Lee (Open Mouth), Mette Rasmussen (Hot Cars Warp Records & Clean Feed), John Edwards (OTOroku & Dancing Wayang), Sylvie Courvoisier (Relative Pitch), Nate Wooley (No Business & Astral Spirits), Jim O'Rourke & Akira Sakata (Drag City & Polystar), Merzbow (Family Vineyard), Jessica Rylan (Load Records), Nels Cline (Strange Attractors), Heather Leigh (Volcanic Tongue), Ghédalia Tazartès (Ultra Eczema), Ken Vandermark (Audiographic), and Sunburned Hand Of Man (Manhand).
Bill Nace is an artist and musician based in Western Massachusetts. He has collaborated with an extraordinary range of musicians, including Michael Morley, Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, Chris Corsano, Jooklo Duo, Chris Cooper, John Truscinski, Thurston Moore, Jake Meginsky, Jessica Rylan, Paul Flaherty, Wally Shoup, and Kim Gordon, with whom he regularly plays as one half of the duo Body/Head. Their critically acclaimed LP “Coming Apart” was released on Matador last September. He has been a featured musician in festivals such as ATP (curated by Jim Jarmusch and held in Monticello, NY), Colour Out of Space(Brighton, UK), Supersonic Festival (Birmingham, UK), International Festival Musique Actuelle (Victoriaville, QC), and Homegrown (Boston, MA). He has performed in a wide variety of venues, running the gamut from the Musee d'Art Contemporain (Strasbourg, France) to The Stone (NYC) to Bennington College (Vermont). Nace’s range has been described as “veering from sculptural, almost Remko-Scha-esque chime to Loren Connors-style elegance in only a few short moves.” (Mimaroglu Music,
2010). Recordings can be found on Ecstatic Peace (Northampton, MA), Ultra Eczema (Belgium), Holidays (Italy), 8mm (Italy), Throne Heap (VA), HP Cycle (Toronto, ON), as well as on Nace’s own label Open Mouth.
Steve Baczkowski is an improviser, saxophonist, and multi-wind instrumentalist. Baczkowski began playing alto saxophone at age eight and switched to baritone by the time he was twelve. He studied music in high school at Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts and went on to studies in music, saxophone performance, literature, and ethnomusicology at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1994 to 1999. In 1999, Baczkowski became the music director of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, N.Y, where he has since produced and presented hundreds of concerts of contemporary music as well as numerous community-based artist residencies.