On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff
On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Liner Notes by PEK
Metal Chaos Ensemble was formed in early 2015 by PEK and Yuri Zbitnov as a working project to explore chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments. I had started to amass the Evil Clown Arsenal of percussion, electronic and wind instruments and we needed a workshop to develop this universe of sounds for the Leap of Faith Orchestra. It was immediately obvious that Metal Chaos Ensemble had a sound to itself and over the last three years has been one of the most prolific Evil Clown ensembles. We have produced a bunch of albums covering a wide range of sonority sets, but always with the presence of Gongs, chimes, glockenspiel, Tibetan Bowls and many other metallic sounds and the horns of PEK. All Metal Chaos Ensemble sessions include at least myself and Yuri, along with a whole bunch of different guests.
MCE has always contained more rock elements that the other Evil Clown projects. This aspect of the project has really come into focus in the sessions over the last year or two. Last May we did three rapid fire sets in 8 days with two different groove-oriented lineups. These sessions are some of the most groove-heavy sets yet, due to the driving bass of newcomer Mike Gruen on Azoth and Basilisk, and the incredible djembe of Moouse Traore on Reverberatory Furnace.
This current set is the trio with Mike Gruen plus the modular analog synth of MCE regular Eric Woods and trumpet, guitar and synth from our pal Bob Moores and relative newcomer saxophonist Mike Caglianone. We now LIVE STREAM to YouTube all of the Evil Clown Headquarters recording sessions. With the help of Joel Simchez at the audio mixing console and Raffi at the video mixing console, we’re pushing a real quality 7 channel Stream! Subscribe to my YouTube for notifications
Metal Chaos Ensemble
- Call of Cthulhu
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 5 December 2019
PEK Tweak of a Raffi Photo
Audio CD Evil Clown 9236
Metal Chaos Ensemble - Call of Cthulhu
Squidco CD Mail Order
1) Call of Cthulhu - 1:10:22
Live YouTube Streaming From Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA, 5 December 2019
PEK - alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet & contralto clarinet, tromboon, mussette, guanzi, wood flutes, game calls, [d]ronin, orchestral chimes, glockenspiel, balafon, wood blocks, gongs, Tibetan bells & bowls, brontosaurus & tank bells, crotales, metal, wood, wind siren, recitation, Ableton mix*
Yuri Zbitnov - drums, Englephone, gongs, crotales, brontosaurus & tank bells, metal, recitation
Bob Moores - piccolo trumpet, guitar, synthesizers, signal processing
Mike Gruen - electric bass, signal processing
Joel Simches - Live to 2 track recording, real -time signal processing
*Samples from the Evil Clown catalog and specially recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters
Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
METAL CHAOS ENSEMBLE with PEK / MIKE CAGLIANONE / BOB MOORES / ERIC WOODS / MIKE GRUEN / JOEL SIMCHES / YURI ZBITNOV - Call of Cthulhu (Evil Clown 9236; USA) Featuring PEK on alto & tenor saxes, clarinets, mussette, flutes, guanzi & exotic percussion; Mike Caglianone on soprano, alto & tenor saxes, game calls & percussion; Bob Moores on piccolo trumpet, guitar & synth; Eric Woods on analog synth & gongs; Mike Gruen on electric bass & processing; Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion and Joel Simches on processing & mix. The Metal Chaos Ensemble is just one of a half dozen Leap of Faith offshoot projects, although they have become quite prolific with some two dozen releases over the past five years. The core members remain PEK, Yuri Zbitnov and Joel Simches, with a revolving cast of 3 or 4 other occasional members.
This disc begins with a short, serious sounding spoken word intro, which works since it is not too serious or prog (fairy tale?) like. I believe it is Mr. Zbitnov doing the recitation. Longtime Leap of Faith drummer, Yuri Zbitnov, soon gets into a great, tribal, martial groove which hold things together as the other members slow add their space rockin’ sounds: electric guitar, electric bass, electronics and assorted percussion. PEK gets a chance do some more serious sounding spoken words which sound somewhat spooky, the vibe dark and a bit sinister at times. Things calm down a bit and then the tribal groove begins again with some a couple of reeds slowly erupting on top. The overall vibe here is some sort of space rock vibe. It turns out that there are a series short spoken word sections with Zbitnov and PEK trading places, back and forth. I found this disc to be pretty funny overall, too much to be taken too seriously. Musically, some of this reminds of a Gong or Acid Mothers Temple-like space jam, balancing with moments of darkness and semi-serious vocal bits. This might be the only (out of 100+ discs) Leap of Faith or offshoot project with an extreme sense of humor going on. I found this disc to be quite enjoyable if you don’t take the vocals too seriously. Unlike anything else from the strange folks up there in the Boston area.
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter,
Downtown Music Gallery (full text below)
"… I found this disc to be pretty funny overall, too much to be taken too seriously. Musically, some of this reminds of a Gong or Acid Mothers Temple-like space jam, balancing with moments of darkness and semi-serious vocal bits. This might be the only (out of 100+ discs) Leap of Faith or offshoot project with an extreme sense of humor going on. I found this disc to be quite enjoyable if you don’t take the vocals too seriously. Unlike anything else from the strange folks up there in the Boston area…”
Liner Notes by PEK (full text below)
“… This current set is the trio with Mike Gruen plus the modular analog synth of MCE regular Eric Woods and trumpet, guitar and synth from our pal Bob Moores and relative newcomer saxophonist Mike Caglianone. We now LIVE STREAM to YouTube all of the Evil Clown Headquarters recording sessions. With the help of Joel Simchez at the audio mixing console and Raffi at the video mixing console, we’re pushing a real quality 7 channel Stream! Subscribe to my YouTube for notifications…”
Composer and multi-instrumentalist, PEK, set his sights on something bigger with the Leap of Faith Orchestra's Supernovae. The previous incarnation of the LOFO expands from the fifteen musicians on The Expanding Universe (Evil Clown, 2016) to twenty-one players on this new outing. Another noteworthy element of this project is PEK's use of Frame Notation where the score is seen in written descriptions and straight-forward symbols within Duration Bars. The system provides the musicians with immediate understanding of their own parts and the higher-level arrangement of the music.
Supernovae consists of a single track composition running just under eighty minutes. The digital download includes a bonus track. Though the extended piece is not broken out by formal movements, there are clear delineations within the score. PEK's ensemble—not surprisingly—includes enough non-traditional and weird instruments to compete with a Dr. Seuss orchestra. Though they are not playing in a vacuum, that group of instruments dominates the first ten minutes before strings and reeds make themselves more clearly heard. Forty-five minutes in, we have the first case of prolonged melody, darker and more subdued than the overall tone of the first half.
Supernovae gives way to free improvisation overlaying the melody. Eventually the piece introduces a brilliant percussion passage before it reintroduces the non-traditional music elements, but here in a more refined manner. As with all of PEK's compositions, there is—behind the scenes—a painstaking amount of organization that is not always evident in the listening. That is part of the beauty of this album; the non-traditional approach to instrumentation and the lack of adherence to Western structure continue to make the various iterations of Leap of Faith consistently interesting. And interesting look at the written score can be viewed at http://www.evilclown.rocks/lofo-supernovae-score.html.