Monday, June 4, 2012

AG Davis & Jamison Williams - Auto De Fe (1481) [Gilgongo]

More crazy, fucked up shit from AG Davis and Jamison Williams but there's a twist this time, shit's even crazier and more fucked up. For those unfamiliar with these guys, it's a duo of a saxophonist who sounds like a rabid animal (Williams) and an actual rabid animal (Davis.)
Following up their May 6, 1937 7" on Skrot Up, they continue naming their records for great moments in human history with Auto De Fe (1481). The first record featured a side of sax and electronics and another side of sax and vocals. This platter eschews the electronics, for two sides of raw grunts and sax bleats.
The first side begins with Davis and Williams trading all manners of chirps and squeals back and forth. The vocals fit somewhere on the spectrum between a macaw and split second chopped & screwed samples of Ol' Dirty Bastard, Busta Rhymes and that dude from Korn. Basically, this record sounds like patients took over a mental hospital and turned it into a jazz conservatory. The flip side covers the same territory but uses space a little more which I think is beneficial considering the severe obnoxiousness of the recording.
The most attractive element of this 7" is Williams. I really love his style, he can freak with the best of them but at one or two times on this record he's very controlled providing a subtle drone underneath Davis's vocal histrionics. My favorite move of his is when he squeezes out slippery little phrases that sound somewhat akin to an analog oscillator. His playing here is very disciplined and tight considering the amount of madness being perpetrated. It may just be my bias against against listening to dry heaves, but I'd like to hear Williams paired up with something other than vocals. My favorite moments on the 7" tend to be the fleeting instances when Williams rolls solo. Davis's contributions on vocals don't do a whole a lot for me and seem to be stifling if anything; the record leaves me kinda wishing Jamison was flying solo or multi-tracking himself.
Of the material I've heard from these guys, the side when Davis manned electronics was their finest. It seems like Williams always has his shit on lock down but I feel like being paired with something more dynamic, and with a more exciting timbre, could really send things into the stratosphere. Williams's playing is a great cornerstone to build around so I'd love to see more imaginative and developed accompaniment.
The record succeeds as a provocation, the thing is in your face and will smack you in the mouth each time you put it on, that will be enough for some people, but each time I listen I long for a few special moments that will stick in my head, and nothing's stuck so far.
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