Here’s what I think happened: Recently, some gorgeous looking and empathetic motherfucker went on an epic quest given by the great sage of Holy-Fuck-that’s-funky. The quest ventured through strange, exotic, and dangerous terrains like Clarinet-Blowhole-Geysers, Wham-Bam-Thank-you-Drum Alleys, the Hills of Sarcastic and Naggy Bagpipes, and, eventually, ended up deep in the dark dank depressing woods of Saxophone Forest. Once there, motherfucker went all mad ballistic fighting off three evil spirits of stupid corny and found, hidden behind them, the fabled Stone of Lameness. Bitch cracked open like a soft melon and, suddenly, all saxophones became hella tight. Colin Stetson, Bendik Giske, and now (with this album) Daniel Thorne all throw down mad saxophone heat within a year. How else would you explain this shit?
This album doesn’t start, it explodes with an army of angry saxophones rattling their voices in a collective war-cry. What, or who, are they battling? Who the fuck knows. But I like their odds. These warbling voices collect momentarily to make a single godlike drone noise that bellows like the THX deep note before going back to the war-cry. If it wasn’t so acoustic, it would sound alien. Electronics distort and manipulate a few stray saxophones and break rank. From there, there are chord progressions made of harmonics and pulses that come from the Reich book. Needless to say, this shit is expansive. It’s huge. It’s so big that the motherfucker has to launch off of hundreds of hooting brass bells to even begin.
Before his solo debut launched for sonic space, Daniel Thorne was part of the Immix Ensemble. Don’t know them? Awesome. The Immix Ensemble are a bunch of Brit fucks making music all classical and strange. With roots like this, Daniel already has his head in the clouds. But, don’t worry, this solo effort of his is relatable as all fuck. Imagine the classical music family: Mr. and Mrs. Classical (the mister, unexpectedly, is a bit of a narcissistic and grumpy bitch) and their three kids Minimalism, Atonal, and Experimentalism (and lots of illegitimate offspring). Picture their second cousin, twice removed, spray painting “fuck Classical” on a wall. That’s the genre of this album. This shit is more relatable to the modern ear than to the classical music junkie’s. Love Reich? This is going to be your jam.
The rest of this album isn’t the same tone. It’s not all war-cries and sonic launching. It moves in narrative dips and waves and grows and pulls like a good album should. There are evocative emotions being hurled out by innovative tones at each turn. I don’t exactly know why the sax has recently been kicking ass, but if you see some motherfucker with kind eyes and smelling of sarcastic bagpipes throw them a smile, hold the door open for them, buy them a fucking coffee. It may not be probable, but it’s possible, that this beautiful motherfucker had to fight through buckets of hella corny saxophone before cracking open gems like this.