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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
DJ Wally
Nothing Stays the Same
Thirsty Ear Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Thirsty Ear accommodates jazz enthusiasts who reside all across the spectrum. Their focus is certainly more honed in on the avant-garde and free-form arenas than bop or traditional, but within the far out realms that they service, there are so many sub-genres and micro-styles that diversity remains an integral part of the Thirsty Ear repertoire. One of the Ear's new releases is DJ Wally's jazz-downtempo fusion disc Nothing Stays the Same, released simultaneously with the David S. Ware String Ensemble's venture into free floating string jazz, Threads. Although some of the same characters appear on both of these releases, including Matthew Shipp on assorted electric and acoustic pianos, Guillermo E. Brown on drums, and David S. Ware on saxophone. Besides these common cast members though, these releases are worlds apart, exemplifying Thirsty Ear's diversity and penchant for treading new ground.

For all the moments of failure and divinity though, these two releases assuredly serve as a testament to the prowess of the Thirsty Ear label, and more importantly to the shockingly creative and versatile jazz community that exists in New York City and beyond. DJ Wally and David S. Ware are but two components of this scene who will hopefully continue to experiment and innovate long into the future.

Where Ware's disc is full of new form jazz that is rooted in different string sounds, DJ Wally's disc, on the other hand, is a very different affair. Wally has created some amazing boom-bap style hip hop instrumentals in the past with his partner Swingsett, as well as fresh and skittering drum and bass. Nothing Stays the Same finds him in the unfortunate position of attempting the easily boring genre of electronic-jazz fusion. The main issue here is that this style can easily sink into car commercial type music, existing just as a background with no real impetus or drive. Wally's beats are capable but fall into painful repetition as soloists freak out via electric flute or soprano sax. There are several moments of eerie DJ Spooky style virtuosity, dub sounds bubbling up from beneath the beat, but most of the album consists of run of the mill jazz hop that reminds you of buying into the Us 3 hype of the early 90's. The Low End Theory this ain't.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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