I’ve done it. I’ve given a full ten marks to an album. To boot, this is a simple self-released CDr, so no magical limited handmade packaging to push the marks sky-high. It’s all about the vibrations; it’s all about Mick Flower and Chris Corsano. This year has been a mammoth year for releases in both quantity and quality. The underground has produced a seemingly endless supply of hypnagogic (insert something that sounds cool)-wave bands. Some have been grand, others fractious and many irritatingly bland. I admit I have been swept away by some of the glorious pop offerings from Minks to Ducktails. However, this bombardment has left a gap, a cavernous hole devoid of shimmering experiment. To my surprise, a live recording from 2009 arrives, recorded onto a white, simply printed CDr wrapped in black and white folded paper, from the shahi baaja /drum pair, the Flower-Corsano Duo.
The record is made up of three lengthy jams, each dominating their own space, yet born from a minimal pallet. The pair manages to twist the jazz-duo formula, and blast a fire so rich and pounding that it veers closer to heavy rock in its ability to induce spasmodic reflexes through its powerful tones. I find myself relentlessly drumming, swaying and rocking out to the movements with an unmatched enthusiasm. From the straight-to-the-freak-out opener, through the slow burning middle, and finally the microcosmic finale, I was utterly mesmerised to the point of entering a secluded state of audio bliss. Corsano’s drumming is of the highest standard, as he switches tempo and styles with effortless precision and emotive execution. Flower’s playing is both devastating and a total brain-fuck of orgasmic proportions. One of the greatest jazz sides I’ve heard this year is the baritone flip of Jooklo Duo’s live 10” on Qbico. This outfit has climbed beyond the classic sax/drum pairing, forging a unique and wondrous energy that is arguably unmatched in contemporary freeform. I can’t express just how mind-blowing this pair is. They are nailing their sound now with such a striking vibe that I’m thirsty to see them live again. They haven’t moved on much in the core sounds that illuminate 2007’s “Radiant Mirror” LP, yet they seem to paint more lavishly with each incarnation.
The ouroboros that Flower weaves snakes in a multilayered pit as Corsano tumbles through the venomous carpet, like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Hammering the point home in three powerful strikes (tracks named in ascending strikes) the duo hit a tone of improvised unity that’s seldom matched. This has the strength and delicacy of a spider’s thread, and delves into the core of the listener. Spend some time with this effervescent flight, and reengage with true sonic freedom. 10/10 -- Peter Taylor (8 September, 2010)