Dusted Reviews

Assif Tsahar / Cooper-Moore / Chad Taylor - Digital Primitives

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Assif Tsahar / Cooper-Moore / Chad Taylor

Album: Digital Primitives

Label: Hopscotch

Review date: Jan. 25, 2007

Cooper-Moore and Assif Tsahar continue to amass a reservoir of creative work on the latter’s Hopscotch imprint. After a couple of rewardingly eclectic duo albums, they hit genuine pay dirt teaming with Hamid Drake in a trio configuration and came up with 2005’s Lost Brother. Digital Primitives tweaks the template slightly, trading Drake’s trap kit for that of Chad Taylor, a regular in the Chicago Underground projects of Rob Mazurek. The customarily stark line drawn cover art depicts a piano as holster for pistol, the slight irony being that C-M’s ivories are nowhere to be found in the set. The disc’s title cleverly conveys the players’ application of bargain basement electronics to add color to their aural collages.

C-M’s diddley-bow lines wobble and bank like a ball bearing rolling up and down a length of irregularly grooved rail. His elastic patterns on the amplified one-string are often funky in spite of themselves, the chicken scratch strums of “Turn it Up” generating a chugging groove and then threatening to implode it through percolating repetition. The same tactic holds true on the even more slippery “Human Interface,” fuzzy string tendrils undulating atop a punchy backbeat as Tsahar riffs expressively on tenor. Taylor plays more consistently “in-pocket” than his predecessor, but resists predictability through a broad menu of beats. Tsahar once again wears his David Murray influences through the purring rasp pregnant in many of his phrases and a lithe dancing attack, most prominently on the somber shuffle “Money Wars.”

“Old Saint Peter” finds C-M singing a sardonic ditty through a vintage microphone set-up against a light calypso rhythm of brushed drums, stereo-channeled strings and overdubbed sax. “Electric Garden” blooms in a loose assemblage of amplified percussion, contact mic static and sibilating bass clarinet. “Bones” and “Misanthropes” traffic in more proto-elecrofunk, C-M’s diddley-bow twice again obliterating any craving for a conventional bass presence with slab-sized vamps. The title piece joins mouth-bow, an instrument that lodged in C-M’s jowls strongly brings to mind Charles Burnham’s violin in its sliding tonal dexterity, with Tsahar’s didgeridoo drone. A chugging dub beat by Taylor completes the package. “True to Life” and “Refuge” center on luminous marimba rhythms and gentle winding braids of overdubbed reeds that easily erode jaded listener defenses.

By Derek Taylor

Read More

View all articles by Derek Taylor

Find out more about Hopscotch

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.