An outgrowth of the percussionist-composers Thomas Kozumplik and Lorne Watson’s earlier outfit, The New York Percussion Duo, Loop 2.4.3. is a larger ensemble whose sound does not fit easily into any of the music biz’s or even the conventional concert hall’s familiar marketing categories. It’s not rock and it’s not jazz and, thank goodness, it’s not that now-best-forgotten cocktail that used to be called “jazz fusion.”
Instead, with their multi-textured compositions that seem to unfold from the humblest percussive patterns or melodic phrases and swell into small storms of surging, snapping, take-no-prisoners sound, Loop 2.4.3’s musicians cook up a polyrhythmic party that is all all-encompassing atmosphere – and then it’s gone. Such was the effect of the group’s performance last night at Joe’s Pub (at the Public Theater, Manhattan), as it offered a reading of the complete song cycle that fills its new album, American Dreamland (on the Music Starts From Silence label).
Although, in its own description of the mood of the new disc, the band cites such inspirational sources or points of allusion as the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, the movie “Easy Rider,” the “desolate plains of Minnesota” and the “postmodern psyche,” as aural soundscapes go, American Dreamland might just be bigger – and more interesting – than the sum of its reference-worthy parts. (The New York-based painter Jon Waldo, who shares an interest in them, and is keen on Thoreau, graffiti and punk rock, too, contributed an iconic motorcycle made with his signature stencil technique to the album’s cover and other images to the background projections at last night’s show.) Think of the new album as a hard-to-label soundtrack in search of a film, a souvenir from a road trip along the by-ways of our era’s cluttered, restless mind.