By Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
METAL CHAOS ENSEMBLE - Forgings (Evil Clown 9070; USA) Featuring PEK on saxes, clarinets, oboes, theremin & synth, Bob Moores on guitar, trumpet & electronics, Matt Samolis on flute & bowed metal, Kevin Dacey drums, percussion & synth and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion.
The Metal Chaos Ensemble is PEK's (founder of Leap of Faith) other working unit. Although the MCE seems to play and record much less frequently than Leap of Faith, they do have a handful of discs available. This one track, hour-long set was recorded at the Evil Clown Headquarters in July of this year (2015). Everyone in this ensemble plays metal/percussion so we see a large number of gongs on display in the booklet. The eerie and occasionally disorienting sound of layers of metals & gongs slowly evolves throughout this disc. Eventually other instruments emerge from the chaos: synth, electronics, guitar, trumpet, assorted reeds and voice. There is a long stretch of more stark, suspense-filled improv midway that sounds just right. What's interesting is this: although this unit is called the Metal Chaos Ensemble, they are rarely completely chaotic. Through many years, Mr. Peck has selected and worked with a number of kindred spirits who know how to listen and create music that sounds free yet feels focused or directed.
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Photos of Rig by Yuri Zbitnov
Review: Metal Chaos Ensemble - Forgings
On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff