Aaron Dilloway, Bill Nace; BandOpen Mouth
OM 047 LP
Long Playing Record
At long last, this recording sees a proper release. There's a story: Initially, I released this as a cassette on my own label, Silver Lining. To be fair, you can hardly call it a label. I have no right releasing my own music, let alone anyone else's. I'm bad at manufacturing things, I'm bad at promoting them, and I'm especially dismal when it comes to packing things up and mailing them out. And so this cassette had a brief brush with public life and then vanished, due primarily to my negligence and laziness. This is where Open Mouth, once again, comes to the rescue.
The record comes in a gorgeous full-color sleeve, and the sound is so much finer than the cassette that even the more sweaty-palmed collectors out there will gladly welcome this object in favor of its previous incarnation, and join me in eagerly awaiting the day when these two release a proper full length. I like that they call this EP BAND. It's a subtle melding of the personal and the conceptual. The 'B' from 'Bill,' the 'A' from 'Aaron,' the 'N' from 'Nace,' and the 'D' from 'Dilloway.' It's simple. But they're not really a band. A band is a thing that exists over time and practices and builds its own identity. Or something. This is a duo. A meeting of the minds. A conversation. A lost weekend. At their best, duos illuminate the core tenets of individuals while pushing them into territory they might not otherwise occupy. It sounds easy but it's anything but. Just look at divorce rates.
Nace and Dilloway make the perfect duo. For years, they've each kept their music fresh, always avoiding preconceived notions of what they're supposed to do. Dilloway's tape loops and electronics are routinely musical, which Nace's guitar always stretches to the edges of alien electricity. Both exude a refreshing and vehement disregard for cliché without leaving behind the necessity of tradition. One hears the earliest hints of electronic music, the conceptual and visceral assault of noise, the structural and spiritual liberation offered by free jazz, the delicate patience of extended techniques, and so much more. This collaboration though, like their back catalogs, works because it is beholden to none of these. Their individual voices are recognizable, yet the record's allure is found when those voices funnel into one another. In these moments, who's who becomes irrelevant, and the music is elevated to its rightful place, far above the concerns of personality or individualism.
The gurgles, scrapes, moans, and loops build their own intoxicating fog, a metallic expanse with its own logic. After all these listens, I remain disoriented by it. It's the kind of thing you want to play again because you can't quite remember exactly what it sounds like. I'm reminded of J.G. Ballard: 'The slower the clock, the nearer it approximated the infinitely gradual and majestic progression of cosmic time.' And maybe that's the thing. Nace and Dilloway each embrace the immediacy of moments and the endless march of time equally, so for this record to finally see the real light of day is no minor event.
-Matt Krefting, Holyoke, MA, 2016