Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt : Made Out Of Sound

There’s an exquisite beauty and a freedom of artistic expression on Made Out Of Sound that takes flight once you hit play. It never lets up till the last note of the record as the soar of creativity flies off into the horizon. The veteran improvisers Chris Corsano(drums) and Bill Orcutt(guitar) make albums that fly off the handle in the best way possible. Music in the spirit of free form jazz, mixed with a dusty American tradition of jangly guitar/drum interplay that could have easily come from Windham Hill or Sub Pop.

On their latest, the shimmering and explosive Made Out Of Sound, Corsano and Orcutt set free ethereal jams that feel like meditating in a massive wake. Walls of blistering sound and six-string fire blast from the speakers like a sonic exorcism. This is some serious musical business.

The pandemic made recording their new album together in a studio quite the challenge, so Corsano and Orcutt didn’t record together at all. Instead Corsano recorded improvised drum parts and Orcutt recorded over them in his own studio, watching the waveforms on the computer for crescendos and changes. He stated he didn’t edit the drums at all, instead using his musical instincts to create what sounds like a totally live and in the studio recording session.

Opener “Some Tennessee Jar” sets the mood for this ride. Bombastic and fluid, the track sounds like a lit fuse, with Orcutt’s razor sound cutting its own path over Corsano’s hurricane of drum noise. “Man Carrying Thing” continues that mood, sounding like William Tyler freaking out with Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier. There’s a controlled chaos here, with the song feeling like it could fall apart at any moment but it doesn’t.

“Distance of Sleep” builds slowly. It brings to mind the solo work of Nels Cline. Touches of jazz and a buzzing, hulking folk music that’s ready to burst at the seams. Album closer “A Port In Air” is the calm after the storm. Fluid, ever-evolving drums play rambunctiously under Orcutt’s calm but assertive Telecaster.

Despite the lack of studio time together, Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt made a record of raw, free form energy that captures the spirit of improvisation, creativity, and unhinged rock and roll. Made Out Of Sound shouldn’t sound this visceral and live, but it does.

8.2 out of 10

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