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Art As Catharsis

What Is Chaos?

by Kurushimi

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C8H10N4O2 01:03
Feast 12:02


Australian deconstructionist noise/jazz collective Kurushimi return with ‘What Is Chaos?’, an immersive sonic journey across time and space.

On their previous releases, ‘Shōtotsu’ EP and ‘Kurushimi’ debut LP, the group conjured a style of experimental jazz that seemed to be drowned in a thick, hallucongenic tar. Like a gradually expanding black hole, the band pulled elements of prog, drone and extreme metal towards itself while continually obliterating any sense of rhythmic or melodic centre.

Now, with ‘What Is Chaos?’, Kurushimi have allowed their collective unconscious to run free. The result is awe-inspiring. Each of the album’s varied tracks stream by in a violent flourish of creative destruction.

‘Yuruyaka na shi no ma no kanbi naru mezame’ sounds like Kilamanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble screaming across a void after unwittingly ingesting a potent dose of psilocybin.

‘A Glimpse Of Thursday Afternoon’ sounds as if Buckethead - twisted on DMT - burst into a smokey New York 1950s jazz club accompanied by a deranged robotic sidekick. Hilarity ensues in the wacky family romp that follows.

Tracks like ‘Ether Rag Addiction’ and ‘C8H10N4O2’ pay tribute to the group’s spiritual leader John Zorn and his work with Painkiller and Naked City. It’s a fitting tribute to the original noise-jazz deconstructionists, and provides at least some reference for this staggering piece of art music.

This is lucid dreaming for psychedelic jazz heads hiding in Scandinavian forests with a battle axes and raised claws; a message from some indeterminate future, where all art, music and culture has collapsed in on itself, leaving behind a whirring chaotic patchwork of symbols, styles, ideas and mediums.

(Well there you go: this is the first piece of music to ever remind of Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game - the play of which involves creating an abstract synthesis across the entirety of the arts and sciences to establish deep and beautiful connections between seemingly unrelated topics.)

Kurushimi have rendered the boundaries between particular styles and genres meaningless. They have revealed the strings that were, until now, completely invisible. In doing so they have pushed us to the very borders of language, and the very borders of music.


released September 13, 2018

Produced & conceived by Andrew Mortensen
Mixed by Jamie Saft at Potterville International Sound, March 2017 - February 2018
Recorded live by George Sheridan at MusicFeeds 11th September, 2016
Additional recording by Geoff Lee, Andrew Mortensen, Jamie Saft + guests
Pre-mixes and editing by Andrew Mortensen
Mastered by Mell Dettmer at Studio Soli, April 2018
Artwork by Sam Harwood

All music improvised by Mortensen/Dawes/Allison/Lawson/Pieterse/Bartholomew + guests
Conducted/manipulated by Simeon Bartholomew.
"What Is Chaos?" contains elements of "The Chickenoid Variations" composed & performed by Nick Soole and "untitled" composed & performed by Jules Ambrosine.

The guys for all their enthusiasm & dedication to this noise: Dawes, Kim, Cheggs, Ian, Lachlan Kerr.
Special thanks to Simeon for last minute availability to conduct this mess!
Much thanks also to Michael Taverner, Kazehito Seki, Nick Soole, Amanda Kelly, Morgan Murphy, Mick Kaslik, Jamie Saft, Gene White, Tsuji Takafumi, Takahashi Yu-ki, Tsuji Masafumi, Matt Ward, Luke Doyle, Alon Ilsar, Julian Curwin, Jules Ambrosine, Conrad Harris, Trevor Dunn, Lachlan R Dale and Art As Catharsis, Will de Monchaux, Sam Harwood, family, friends & fans and to the bands we've played with.


Andrew Mortensen: bass, turntable, synths, FX, noise, additional guitar, autoharp, samples
Chris Allison: drums
Simon Dawes: guitar
Kim Lawson: alto sax, tenor sax
Ian Pieterse: baritone sax, alto sax
Simeon Bartholomew: conductor, additional guitar (7, 10)

Additional/sampled guests:

Jules Ambrosine - broken CDs, electronics (1)
Julian Curwin - guitar (1)
Luke Doyle - guitar (1)
Trevor Dunn - double bass (6)
Conrad Harris - guitar (1)
Alon Ilsar - E.A.P.P, FX, percussion (1)
Mick Kaslik - vocals (5)
Amanda Kelly - vocals (5)
Morgan Murphy - vocals (5)
Jamie Saft - keyboard (6, 7, 10)
Kazehito Seki - vocals (2, 4, 8, 10)
Nick Soole - noise, FX, vocals (1)
Michael Taverner - guitar, feedback (2, 7, 8, 10)
Matt Ward - drums (1)

(6) Published by Convulsive Beauty Music, ASCAP
(6, 7, 10) Published by Pain Management, ASCAP


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Kurushimi Sydney, Australia

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