ASK - The Formulary of Curses (CD Discus)

Formulary. Now there's a word. It makes your mouth go funny.  

For their second album the multiple instrumental work centring on Martin Archer and John Jasnoch play with electro acoustics, glitched and processed sounds, combining them with wind, string and brass instruments. The breadth of play here is wide. Splutter and gloop, highly articulate jazziness and funny tweaks go to make one hell of an colourful album. It somehow treads the line between being angular and melodic. I like it when the horns are up and at 'em. 

Rob Dainton's free flowing drums are phenomenal. There's some great but understated (the mix?) interplay between Dainton and Simon H. Fell. Others on here include Derek Saw, Simon Pugsley, Charlie Collins, Chris Bywater and Chris Meloche. Oof! What a line up. No wonder they've ended up with a dynamically lucid album. Some tracks are composed and some are improvised but all have a

very exciting energy about them even during the quieter and spacious moments. It's an exceptionally enjoyable album. It breaks genre restrictions, transgresses time lines and takes in a lung full of clean air. Here we start anew.

 Hold on for the audacious 'Song for Roscoe Mitchell' where they go all Big Band for the AACM. The grand finale of the album, 'A Senseless Act of Beauty' is an appropriate way to end things - an extended fragmented collapse. 

The print quality of the covers is low for this and a few of the other cds on the label. It lets down the mysterious Abra Cadaver's fine art. HM