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Bye Bye Tsunami
s/t Noel Gardner , January 26th, 2022 09:49

Copenhagen-based instrument inventors and banana fanciers erupt into belching jazz-noise jams, finds Noel Gardner

When a debut release crosses your path with the claim that one of the musicians on it has invented his own new instrument, it seems decent to give it some attention. The technology for performing music is evolving all the time, at the fastest rate in history, but the actual physical tools – these, for the most part, stay locked in for decades at a time.

Lorenzo Colocci, one of three members of Copenhagen band Bye Bye Tsunami (he also performs as Nathan L, confusingly), claims to have invented the flaubosax. There are a few videos of him online purportedly playing it: going on the only one where you can really see much, it appears to be a flute with some sort of tone-altering mouthpiece attachment. I remain unconvinced this is a legitimately new vanguard in instrument invention, while also noting that he gets some great sounds from it on Bye Bye Tsunami, a six-song EP on American label Nefarious Industries. In fact, the more flaubosax is featured the better this release is.

The trio are completed by drummer Søren Høi and double bassist Uldis Vitols, both team players in the noisier end of Danish jazz. ‘Pornceptual’, which opens Bye Bye Tsunami, is thuddier-than-thou rhythmic noise which doesn’t feature Colocci at all, or not clearly identifiably at least, and is serviceable early-00s Load Records-type fodder which sells this group a little short. It’s followed by a self-titled song – ‘Bye Bye Tsunami’ by Bye Bye Tsunami from Bye Bye Tsunami – in which the woodwind player does eventually appear, after a guest vocalist named Praytell has sullied matters with his disagreeable, reedy jive talk. He sounds a bit like someone letting the air out of a provincial nu-metal singer.

All of which makes it remarkable that, with the remaining four numbers all doing business, this EP is worthy of attention despite being less than frontloaded. BBT are at their best kicking out rock-minded jazz/noise jams with belching clouds of tabletop electronics, along the lines of groups like The Thing or Ultralyd. ‘Holdin’ Banana Spiders Through The Folds Of Time/Space’, whose title is supposedly explained by a tall tale about a band member hallucinating after eating too many bananas, and ‘Proteo’ are doused with freeform aggro-blowing. The latter demonstrates a willingness, and ability, to mix light and shade via a dank, minimalist bass/drums passage before Colocci’s flute (yes, he does play that as well) introduces a sense of prog rock abandon.

‘Red Bible’ is perhaps Høi’s most versatile percussive turn, loose-limbed fills guiding forth trio jazz at its most maximalist, and conventionally melodic flute collides with headachey glitch electronics on ‘J-Pop Love Banana Murder’. They have a ‘thing’ for bananas, and it does give the impression that this outfit are zanier than they actually are, but if you extract much joy from the jazz/noiserock intersection then you’d be well advised to hold your mettle for this one.