TW-E: Open City "The Birth of Cruel"
180 Gram Vinyl LP w/ Heavy Gatefold Cover, CD
Side A -
(1) Assembly Language; Growth Wizards;
Hoist and Descent; Subworld Disrupt; Spar Activation; Guarded Propositions.
(2) Fetch and Squabble; Outliers; Another Kind of FOREX; Captcha Hobbyists; Lonesome Blast Sweeper; The Monitor.
Side B -
(3) A Valley Forge; Informal Shuriken (for Tex Winter); Arsenal and Phantom; Skirt Metamorphosis.
Peter Kolovos - Guitar
Andrew Maxwell - Drums & Percussion
Doug Russell - Guitar
"A gorgeous record of free sound: Through three unsettled pieces, Open City breaks down the formalism of the avant garde, noise and free improvisation
to reveal one of today's most distinctive and intense group dynamics.
The group use a constant flow of deep drone, pointilistic cut ups, rich texture and silence to create Alpha music.
Unrepeatable and unpredictable, aggressively abstract, time-stamped, adaptive, actionist, attentionist, fun.
An organic assembly language in an open field, avoiding the trance and
repetition of idiomatic pop for sound statement and direct coinage.
Open City aims for a moment before music, the unsettled pause before a
devastating blow. The Birth of Cruel is a generational X-flare, a sound proposition, a coronal mass ejection of propulsive and audible means. Enjoy!
"Another luxurious 180-gram vinyl from the label Thin Wrist, The Birth of Cruel is Open City's follow-up to the 2002 LP L.A. We Revise Your Neglect. The trio still consists of two electric guitarists and a drummer . This album presents two main differences. First, the pieces are longer. Second, silence plays a more prominent role in the music. That is, the improvisations leave a lot of room for breathing and show minutiae in the spatial-temporal placement of sound gestures. If it sounds arid stated that way, in fact it makes for very dynamic, although fragmented music. Each of the three pieces bears at least four different titles in sequence, hinting at a “suite" form, but I defy you to identify clear transitional points between these “sections." Side one begins with the “Assembly Language" suite, the piece coming closest in terms of density to the material found on L.A. We Revise Your Neglect. Maxwell is particularly busy laying down a rough percussive terrain (Paul Lytton comes to mind, but a Lytton that would have spent a couple of summers with Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo). The shortest piece at 7 minutes, the “Fetch and Squabble" suite presents two handfuls of ideas and climates flashing by in front of the listener's ears, like the stings from a swarm of bees, each prick more precise than the previous ones. Side B is all devoted to the 20-minute “epic" (the word goes well with “suite"; it feels like a progressive rock album...) “A Valley Forge," one of Open City's finest moments. The trio manages to sustain the momentum despite several angle shifts. The last five minutes or so see the two guitarists conversing in a noisy but very articulate way, before joining forces for a quiet drone (never)ending on a locked groove."
François Couture, All Music Guide
"...it brims with the wonderfully cracked sounds you'd expect. Two guitars and a drum crawl slowly over the parched hills searching for water
and you can feel the skin bubbling and bursting off their backs. These guys make a sequence of small events feel like a goldang earthquake."
Byron Coley / Thurston Moore, Arthur Magazine
"Imagine the Dead C, slowly crumbling from the inside out, all vestiges of 'rock' and 'composition' are now a viscous puddle in front of your speakers, leaving just a splattery, skeletal clattery clank of a record. A huge cavernous space, a player in each corner, sending pipes and guitars and drum sticks and plectrums careening across the floor, raising an unholy, but pretty damn pleasing racket."
Aquarius Records, San Francisco