Corsano, Chris: The Key (Became The Important Thing [& Then Just Faded Away]) (Vinyl LP)
Corsano, Chris: The Key (Became The Important Thing [& Then Just Faded Away]) (Vinyl LP)

Corsano, Chris: The Key (Became The Important Thing [& Then Just Faded Away]) (Vinyl LP)

Regular price €31.95 €0.00 Unit price per

Drummer Chris Corsano is a tireless collaborator. Among the 150 or so albums that he’s contributed to over the past 25 years, only six have been credited to Chris alone, which makes the existence of The Key (Became The Important Thing [& Then Just Faded Away]) a rare instance of Chris going deep on his own vision.

Indeed, this album finds him involved in every aspect of the process, from making the string-drums that the music is based upon, to playing all parts of the music, mixing them, and doing the cover art, too. Frankly, we’re surprised Chris didn’t self-release it as well—but we’re also psyched that he didn’t. This is a special album, bringing his encompassing focus on free improvisation and noise into a granular fusion with acoustic experiments and ideations of hard rock riffing and the post-punk sound.

In Chris Corsano’s collaborations over time with Paul Flaherty, Joe McPhee, Dredd Foole, Michael Flower, Paul Dunmall, Bill Orcutt, Nate Wooley, Mette Rasmussen, C. Spencer Yeh, Ben Chasny & Sir Richard Bishop (as individuals, and together as Rangda), Bill Nace, Wally Shoup, Evan Parker and dozens of other players, it’s clear the vibe may get intense / heavy / OUT. Accessing this place, in itself, is an incredible calling—but on The Key (Became The Important Thing [& Then Just Faded Away]), the intensity radiates entirely from inside Chris’s process, in conversation with himself. And that’s something that hit a bit different once he was done making it.

The pieces here were largely built out of Chris’s string drum playing, utilizing a setup he’s created involving a silicone string, stretched across a snare drum with a bridge. When the string is hit, it resonates the drum—a conception similar to that of the banjo, but with more of a bass tone. Several songs focus on Chris playing a bass string drum with a full kit, while the basic parts of two other pieces (“I Don’t Have Missions,” “The Full-Measure Wash Down”) implied possibilities for full band arrangements which Chris was compelled to respond to himself.

This isn’t the first time he’s made overdubbed music, Corsano-on-Corsano style—jump in the Bandcamp time machine to hear the Corsano “Band”s 2010 release, High and Dry—but it did have the effect of feeling unusually personal. The process of exploration and discovery uniquely informed and shaped the music, implying not just sounds and passages, but structures of songs themselves. In addition to the several synapse-clearing full-band arrangements, Chris’ solo drumkit performances with the bass string drum take flight, the shape of their movement based on interaction with its marvellous acoustics.

Further, Chris’s guitar playing on “I Don’t Have Missions,” a semi-unconscious attempt to Frankenstein together the influences of several of his six-string collaborators, locates a new awesome space in his music facilitated through and furthering the sounds found playing the string drum. All the results on the tape, when listened back, found a higher order, transcending sequences of experimentation and technique, becoming much more than the sum of an internal conversation, standing together as a set of insistently compelling pieces of a whole.

And so they became The Key (Became the Important Thing [& Then Just Faded Away]). They unlocked something in Chris Corsano —and us too.

  1. I Don’t Have Missions
  2. Collapsed in Four Parts
  3. Low Experience
  4. Unlike An Empty Box
  5. The Full-Measure Wash Down
  6. Everything I Tried To Understand Wasn’t Understandable at All

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