Just when you thought that all trios of improvising musicians were just pretentious excuses to plink plonk and masturbate their way through the pretense that somehow the discordant mess they produce is actually a meaningful new direction in modern music for people who haven’t been schooled for 5+ years in modern composition and learned to hate music, along comes Rice Corpse.
It’s the work of Sydney based lunatic glass blower and noise extraordinare Lucas Abela, who if the press release is to be believed briefly became a cultural ambassador to China, spending two months in Beijing found pianist Li Zenghui (who is actually a saxophonist) and percussionist Yang Yang, jammed with them a few times and then dragged them into the studio for this monstrosity. It’s the funniest most visceral and compelling music this writer has heard for a very long time. At times Abela feels like he’s sabotaging the aforementioned plink plonk, tearing it apart with his aggressive howls, other times he sounds like some kind of wounded inhuman animal growling irritably whilst the piano and percussion rain down around him, then there’s the moment where it all coalesces into the adolescent noise frenzy that is spirited and unrelenting, a charging jam that you could only imagine as the sound of the apocalypse. Perhaps what I find most fascinating about Rice Corpse is how the trio don’t sound tied down to any particular form of improvisation as is so commonly the case. This may be because Abela’s contact mic’d glass through distortion pedals produces such a unique, and I would imagine quite difficult to play along with, sound, but really I believe it has a lot to do with the musicians desire to pull something quite unique out of the box. At times it’s quite musical, even positively melodic, at other times the humour comes from the ludicrous ill fitting nature of this trio, yet then it all becomes quite hysterical, pushing you to face head on, the joy, freedom and possibilities of experimental music – rubbing your face in it over and over again, until you just want to be left alone. Genius.
Bob Baker Fish