More joyful noise from the ever-more sprawling activities of the Oneida family. People Of The North is the side project of that band’s Bobby Matador and drum powerhouse Kid Millions, and The Caul finds them diving once more into heavy minimal jams of immense power. Vinyl only, through a digital download code is included. On Thrill Jockey.
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The North? Never heard of it. Sounds bleak. I have, however, heard of Oneida, a psychedelic darling amongst those who like cacophonies in every which direction -- their side project, People of the North, consists of some people, potentially of the north, from that band, including drumming mini-legend Kid Millions and piano man Bobby Matador. Here, they do what you want, and jam, albeit under a different process of the jam -- the emphasis is on drums and organs, creating a slow coalescing of fills and blurring keys.
‘The Caul’ goes all in on its title track, which never rises above its station and instead offers itself up as a sort of soft noise, with Millions’ rapid shifts of drums as untraceable and yet indelible as a Rashied Ali cut. Matador’s organs at times sound gentle and loving, but occasionally broach a woozy, distorted kinda sound that puts everything into a blurry gray scale. There’s more of the same in the record’s shorter tracks, which allow for certain ominous chords alongside sillier improvisations from Matador -- it sounds like he’s stammering his way to a jazz fusion record, getting things in place rather than fully committing to them. It’s a record full of tension -- it’s amazing just how tense a bunch of improvised stuff can be.
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