Imagine if the clouds made a sound other than thunder when they clashed. A shrieking, perhaps, or maniacal laughter. Or perhaps the sound of Ty Citerman’s Bop Kabbalah, with its ominous bass clarinet (Ken Thomson), dark riffs (Citerman’s guitar), trumpet howls (Ben Holmes) and agitated drumming (Adam D Gold).
When this band is not sounding like the actual storm it carries all the foreboding of the build-up to one. Nothing light or frivolous occurs. The bass clarinet casts murky shadows, and Citerman (best known as a member of Gutbucket) showers the music with sudden squalls of noise, moody film-noirish lines, or occasionally labyrinthine patterns reminiscent of King Crimson’s Robert Fripp.
The unusual instrumentation also ensures gaping holes (or deep fissures) open up in the group texture, which Gold emphasises rather than fills, and often the two horns spiral around each other in elaborate dialogues rather than playing solos, per se. Taking his cues from Jewish traditional music Citerman has penned all the pieces, giving them humorous names like Exchanging Pleasantries With A Wall.