don cherry

don cherry

Pascal Nichols @ Tusk Fetival 2014

23h ago
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Great drummers are rare. You might know one. They’re in 8 bands and have 4 solo projects, right? Once word gets out, everyone wants them, because drums and percussion are just one of those areas that you can’t bluff and what can be an endearingly shambolic approach on another instrument just won’t cut it on drums (ok, Crazy Horse aside..). Pascal Nichols is a great drummer. He has a subtle polyrhythmic musicality that, on his excellent new album Nihilist Chakai House (on Newcastle label Discombobulate), conjures images of Don Cherry’s Organic Music Society taking on gamelan. Pascal’s style is a gently rolling thunder around the heads, bells, hats, blocks, sheets; a precise yet fluid and limber evolution of the pattern of punctuations peppering each cluster of pulses and beats. He’s amazing to watch too, face betraying a consciousness lost in patterns of casual complexity. You may have seen Pascal as half of the great Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides at TUSK 2012, a set concluded by Nichols and Jones both rolling clay (he’s a ceramicist too) and you’ve probably seen or heard him live as part of another half dozen combinations. This solo record is one of the best things we’ve heard him do though, and if you’ve enjoyed the solo records of Paul Hession, Chris Corsano, Milford Graves, then this is for you. As freelibs.org put it: “It’s crystal clear like an ECM joint yet huffed with a sweaty Javanese energy. The bronze pots get thunked bad and vibrate, shifting units of time, Bene Gesserit style. A massive station clock weeps small brass cogs until the stutter of fudge-footed mice scramble all smeary, dazzling with dry-snare. Between times you hear the most amazing sonorous cowbell work this side of a Trouble Funk block-jam tailing off into resinous wooden bumps.”