SUDDEN OAK

beyond language

"After years of recording rough drafts onto tape in the most fly-by-night fashion, during one week in late 2010 the Sudden Oak duo (John Ward on lap steel guitar and Matt Erickson on amplified tenor saxophone) entered their San Francisco practice space with the hopes of drawing a meatier, more tangible diagram. These sessions were suds-drenched collaborative affairs, with Anthony Boruch (Swanox) on mangled drumkit/filmic advice, Peter Berends (KWJAZ) on sporadic percussion/vibe counseling, and Joe Knight (Rangers) on recording/production/spatial arrangement duties. The resulting sound is now more clearly textured than totally blurred, with several luminous pinholes pierced into the duo's usual opaque sheet. Sudden Oak's personal hall of fame still include framed portraits of the influential free-sound string/reed pairs of the past (Sonny/Peter, Masayuki/Kaoru, etc.) that were made visible, somewhat hazily, on their earliest tapes. These new recordings, however, lean more towards some demented vision of electrified psychedelic maneuvering, which the drumming only makes more explicit. In other words, though one band member's ex-Deadhead father certainly wouldn't agree, the duo is working towards a Borbetomagian take on the intersong "Feedback" jam from the fourth side of Live/Dead and on assorted volumes of Dick's Picks. Well, you know what, Dad? These two fellows weren't alive back in the day to get free soup from the Diggers in the Panhandle, so they piece things together as they can."

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