On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff
Liner Notes Excerpt (full text below)
“…Very soon, Evil Clown Headquarters will shut down for a few months for some major studio upgrades and construction. Consequently, I worked hard to find a date when we could make up the Time Tripping session before we start down at the end of September. The full band was not available on a date that I could put in the book, so I got Bill T Miller to sub for Eric Woods on analog synthesizers, and Michael Knoblach to sub for Steve Niemitz at the drum kit. I think you will agree the session is fantastic!...”
- PEK - 9/10/2022
Audio CD Evil Clown 9324
Metal Chaos Ensemble - Time Tripping
bandcamp: streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
1) Time Tripping - 1:10:26
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 9/8/2022
PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, alto & tenor saxophones, bass flute, tarota, bass tromboon, melodica, [d]ronin, 17 string bass, spring & chime rod boxes, electric chimes, Tibetan bells and chimes, tank cello, theremin with moogerfooger, baby bomb piano, balafon, xylophone, log drums, wood blocks, gongs, plate gong, almglocken, crotales, glockenspiel, brontosaurus & tank bells, orchestral chimes, prophet, novation peak, moog subsequent, Linnstrument controllers, recitation
Bob Moores - Epiphone Les Paul Goth guitar played through Ampkit on iPhone, Korg and Moog softsynths on IPad with mini keyboard, Mainstage softsynths on MacBook Air with full keyboard, kracklebox and trumpet with attached piezo barrel pickup played through Axiom effects pedal, shofar, gong
Bill T Miller - buchla 208c, syntrix
Mike Gruen - six string bass guitar
Michael Knoblach - drums, gongs
Joel Simches - real time signal processing and live to 2-track mix
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 seven years has been one of the most prolific Evil Clown ensembles. We have produced over 50 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.
Since the pandemic has let up, we have started to do LIVESTREAMING sessions from Evil Clown Headquarters to YouTube… MCE has been a bit harder to schedule than before the pandemic since we are all busy and Steve Niemitz drives in from Western Mass for the sessions. 2022 has had several MCE livestreams scheduled and then repurposed to Simulacrum sessions or variations of the sextet ensemble with subs other than the 6 core members. Time Tripping was originally supposed to happen in July, but Mike G had a babysitter conflict and Steve could not make the commute and so we did Simulacrum – Meditations on Reality instead as a quartet. Including Time Tripping, we only recorded three albums in 2022, which is significantly less than our pre-pandemic output.
Very soon, Evil Clown Headquarters will shut down for a few months for some major studio upgrades and construction. Consequently, I worked hard to find a date when we could make up the Time Tripping session before we start down at the end of September. The full band was not available on a date that I could put in the book, so I got Bill T Miller to sub for Eric Woods on analog synthesizers, and Michael Knoblach to sub for Steve Niemitz at the drum kit. I think you will agree the session is fantastic! When we resume at the beginning of 2023, I think I will be a bit more flexible with the ensemble line-up, so that Metal Chaos Ensemble can have a few more sets during the year. With several possible drummers, several possible bassists, and several possible synthesists we can get in a few more sessions in 2023 than we managed in 2022. There will be more space in the studio after the construction, so we may do some recordings as the Metal Chaos Orchestra with all 8 or 9 players in the band.
When Yuri withdrew from Evil Clown a few years back, I was worried that the MCE format would not survive his departure. I have found, however, that the strength of the concept and the development that happened up until that time has meant that the MCE concept can continue in a new way. In fact, the well-defined aesthetic problem posed supports a broader range of possibilities than just those achievable by the current core unit. Stay tuned for the further development of Metal Chaos Ensemble.
I’m super happy with this album and I bet you like it too…
PEK – 9/10/2022
PEK tweak of a video grab
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.
Metal Chaos Ensemble - Time Tripping
Evil Clown Headquarters - 8 September 2021
Leap of Faith Orchestra performs
by Karl Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com
On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG