Mike Pride: Drummers Corpse CD

Mike Pride: Drummers Corpse CD

Mike Pride: Drummers Corpse CD

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"This album is experimental in nature, focused heavily on rhythm with the opening track “Drummer’s Corpse” pulling together the cream of the improvising percussion scene including Bobby Previte, Ches Smith, Tyshawn Sorey along with some guitar and wordless vocals to develop a wild and fascinating ride. The pummeling drumming becomes hypnotic and drives the performance relentlessly forward. The music is roiling and near apocalyptic with a free jazz percussion orchestra blasting away but always with a purpose and never out of control. It is a cry in the dark against hatred and injustice, and it leaves an indelible imprint. The second piece, “Some Will Die Animals (for Gen Makino)” is dedicated to the drummer and sound artist, and uses vocals and recitation of words and phrases to create a compelling and disjointed narrative. The band on this piece is a little more standard, Chris Welcome on guitar, Eivind Opsik on bass, Pride on drums and vocals, plus Marissa Perel, Yuko Tonihira and Fritz Welch reciting prose. Mike Pride is always someone who brings interesting and innovative music to the table, no matter what format" –Tim Niland, Music and More


"There are a few names that come up in interviews with Mike Pride: John Cage, Glenn Branca, Max Roach, John Zorn, Boredoms, Messiaen, Eric Dolphy, Joe Morris, Nels Cline, Anthony Braxton ... are you seeing the pattern? These are creative outsiders (even in their circles) known for sparking shifts in the musical universe. Pride has been a member of legendary punkers MDC (aka Millions of Dead Cops), part of the cast of Fushitsusha with Keiji Haino, played in the 77 Drummers "Boadrum" concerts, worked in trio with guitarist Mary Halvorson and bassist Trevor Dunn, and all the hot reed and horn players (Nate Wooley, Kirk Knuffke, Peter Evans). Searching for his performances on YouTube show related links out to as much metal as jazz.

"For Drummer's Corpse, Pride gathered a host of drums, gongs, a guitar (himself on organ, myriad percussion, nose flute) to, after a few short minutes of contemplative reflection, blitzkrieg for a half hour. In theory it's a simple construction: six chords, each held for five minutes, shift. But saying that and hearing the work is the difference of seeing a tornado from fifty or three miles away. There is an overwhelming amount of information here, and per the origins of the piece (Pride began contemplating the creation after a fire destroyed his apartment), it is an aural bring-up and zealous exorcism of violent feelings to move on. The shrieks and howls and growls sound somewhere between shamanistic spasms, tent revivalists and Deathcore vocalists; in the score, drummers are instructed to begin when "a female performance artist comes up and makes uncomfortable eye contact"; tight, nimble metric modulations are met with freeform blasts to build a bomb that only resolves in the last ten seconds. For the second track, "Some Will Die Animals", guitarist Chris Welcome and Pride (on drums) ramble across Eivind Opsvik's winding double bass drone, akin to walking up a darkened circular staircase. Twice, the ensemble becomes a backdrop for a curious vocal recitation canon of randomized text about "UVA, the United Vagina Association", "biologic song animals", "alien identify birds", "Osaka, Japan", "pew pew pew!" etc. that flows across the stereo spectrum with a multiplicity of characters, accents, moods, genders and fervor; intense as the first work in skew, it's a strange juxtaposition that makes you pause and check to see if your iPod advanced a track.

"Pride's depth and breadth of musicology can't (and shouldn't) be labeled, and he's comfortable enough in his own skin to absorb and remix influences into his own journey. He writes, "I would like to create work that empowers people from all walks of life — there are many ways to make you feel good, and it doesn't have to sound like Nelly or Xenakis to do that." Respect."
–Dave Madden, Squid's Ear


"A first rate cast of percussionists is featured in such a way as to subsume the individual uniqueness of each musician into a single wall of ecstatic drum. An intense, mid-range, imperceptibly changing drone is provided by the electric guitar of Chris Welcome as a backdrop for the world’s greatest drum circle. Independent percussive motives appear and disappear into the texture; repeated listening reveals more and more subtleties. Cries, screams, and spoken word blend nicely into the mix, revealing messages from the world beyond."
–Brian Questa, Free Jazz blog


The distinctly gifted drummer/composer Mike Pride is prolifically active as a leader/accompanist in a wide variety of groups and genres: metal, noise, avant-garde rock, free music, and modern jazz. In May 2013, AUM Fidelity released two of the most potent albums he has created to date. The 33 min. maximum intensity transformative epic, Drummer’s Corpse, was recorded within the same month as the diametrically opposed (in concept, content and title), Birthing Days, and no pair of records better represent his multifarious artistic nature. Their simultaneous release is a major artistic statement from Mr. Pride.

Drummer’s Corpse was originally conceived and written in 2005, following a devastating apartment fire which consumed nearly all of Pride’s possessions, recordings, and compositions. Further developed through a series of live performances and personnel adjustments, the piece was finally fully realized and studio-recorded in late 2012. Drummer’s Corpse features an inter-generational seven-strong convention of some of the finest drummers currently active in the realm of adventurous music; organ drone & waves of electric guitar; and extreme vocal performance art by Pride and two additional members of this stunning assembly. Pride writes, “This piece has taken on many meanings to me. It is my Ascension. It is a scream against violence and war. A scream against greed and envy. A howl of strength, power and self reliance.”

On the additional composition included here, Some Will Die Animals, Pride writes, “this piece was written shortly after the great drummer, vocalist and personal friend of mine, Gen Makino took his own life, shockingly, stirring up an entire community of Tokyo & Osaka based noise and punk musicians. Gen was a singular, inspiring, powerful person - one of the most passionate musicians I have ever witnessed. The piece is composed of a serialized tone row for double bass and a graphic score for guitar, bass drums and tom-toms. The piece is interrupted twice by a news broadcast, read simultaneously by 2 men and 2 women, each with the text in different orders. The broadcast mashes through many things, including global sex-terrorism, suicide & scientific descriptions of imaginary future-animals.”

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