Ben Opie – saxophone/electronics/samples
Josh Wulff – guitar
Dave Throckmorton – drums
Saturday was my friend Ben’s birthday. Coincidentally, Saturday was also the night of a Sound/Unsound show at The Space Upstairs, which is literally a block from Ben’s house. So, it was a pretty natural fit to get a few people together for a little pregame and then walk over to the show.
My appreciation of Ben Opie and Dave Throckmorton has been well documented on this site. But, this was my first time seeing them with guitarist Josh Wulff under the name Sound/Unsound. I had seen Wulff in a somewhat similar project a few years ago with Throck entitled Smash Your Wagon.
Sound/Unsound is a change of pace from other Opie/Throckmorton collaborations Thoth Trio, Flexure, OPEK, etc. Here we find Ben Opie experimenting more with samples and electronic textures than playing alto sax. Wulff’s effects-heavy guitar also pushes the project into much different territory. I spoke with Throck briefly during the break and he commented that the band was little more groove oriented and more aggressive on this particular night than what can be heard on the CD they were celebrating the release of entitled 15728. After buying and listening to the CD, I can agree that this was certainly the case. The music on the disc (all improvised btw just like the music on Saturday night) is more subdued and textural and slightly darker. Check out Mike Shanley‘s review in the City Paper here. Overall, despite the room being a bit hot and sticky, this was a great show. Be sure to support these guys (and local music in general) by buying a copy of the CD HERE or locally from Juke Records in Bloomfield. Enjoy.