A three piece arriving from Portland, OR, ALTO! is two percussionists (also manning electronics) and one guitarist who is able to conjure some truly wild sounds from his six strings. Theirs is an instrumental music, ebbing and flowing mostly around the jagged mountains of sound forced up through the ground by Derek Monypeny’s guitar playing. The other side of this group of course comes the fact that they have two drummers, which gives the whole enterprise a deep rhythmic complexity much of the time, even when the percussion dies down and the guitar is roaring wildly. The second of the three tracks found on the group’s s/t recording (below streaming via their bandcamp and to eventually be released in physical form by Raheem Records) is called “Piece 5 (H.F.F.L.)”. So it’s actually the 5th track? Anyway, and either way, it’s of the more rhythm oriented tracks, a funky repetitive groove that eventually disintegrates into a freer, looser percussion section before erupting into a fuzzy guitar mess, splattering against the wall, and slowly trickling down to the floor. Really enjoyable listening. I love instrumental bands that aren’t afraid to keep it rhythmically groovy and also allow themselves to get dirty.
An Interview with Mei Semones
This recent Berklee graduate talks about the personal meaning behind some of her music, her bands/other musical acts, and her future plans in this interview with the Hassle