Astral Spirits is proud to present the debut release from Monas! Monas is Colin Fisher (saxophone, guitar), Johnny DeBlase (electric bass) & Kid Millions (drums). “Freedom” features two side-long improvisations — one with Fisher on guitar and the other with Fisher on saxophone, both equally ecstatic.
Happy to have Kid Millions back on Astral Spirits (following up 2015’s duo with Jim Sauter, “Bloom”) as his playing just gets better and better every time I hear him. Johnny DeBlase is a NY-based bassist & composer that plays in the groups Many Arms, Zevious, Needle Driver, Sabbath Assembly and more. Colin Fisher is an incredible Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist that has played with a who’s who of both improv and rock worlds including Anthony Braxton, William Parker, Dominic Duval, Sabir Mateen, Many Arms, Neil Hagerty, Joe Mcphee, Paul Hession, Eric Chenaux, The Constantines, Caribou, Born Ruffians and more!
“Freedom” is a one-off recording from this power trio and let’s hope it’s not the last. “Visible Spirit” finds Fisher on guitar starting off adding drones and feedback in layers, building up patiently before going full bore into shredding that’s somewhere between Sonny Sharrock, Mick Barr & Robert Fripp. However, Fisher’s guitar playing is not just shredding for the sake of shredding, there is a harmonic logic to it all that comes across horn-like at times, somewhat eschewing traditional guitar technique, sometimes not. DeBlase and Millions keep things in perpetual motion while maintaining a balance of sound that comes across as an updated version of Last Exit. And truly, let’s not kid ourselves “Visible Spirt” is a full on power-trio meets free improv. It’s heavy, powerful and intense, much like Last Exit. “Invisible Nature” repeats the power trio formula except with Fisher on saxophone. While you’d think it might be less intense than side A, that is a very debatable fact. Hearing Fisher back to back on Guitar and Saxophone shows the overall logic in his playing (no matter what instrument). Upon repeated listens the instruments carry less weight than the intensity and playing of these three musicians themselves.
Monas “Freedom” is out March 17, 2017 in an edition of 150 cassette tapes (w/digital download).
THE REVIEWS & ARTICLES:
Review by MARC MASTERS for HI-BIAS.