I’m paraphrasing here, but my initial reaction when “Clone 13,” Red Fiction’s latest single, was thrust before my ears went something along the lines of “Sounds like Mr. Bungle’s horn section formed a band. I’ll always be down with that!” Formed by Jason Schimmel in 2012 and previously known as Atomic Ape, Red Fiction counts in its ranks fellow musical chameleons Ryan Parrish (tenor/baritone sax), Max Whipple (bass) and Shawn Baltazor (drums), have a couple previous releases under their previous name and have been sitting on Visions of the Void, their debut release as Red Fiction, for a minute now.
Schimmel’s name might be familiar to followers and fans of Secret Chiefs 3, Estradasphere (the band headlining the first show my now 19 year-old son was in attendance at — that he was in the eighth month of a nine month stay in my wife’s belly at the time is neither here nor there!) and a sometimes horn blower for John Zorn’s Masada. Red Fiction follows along those same varying lines; top-notch avant-experimental Baltic-influenced fusion with a jagged jazz flow and as many subgenre referenced as dividers in a record store bin. The difference being these dudes play with a bit more rock in their socks.
Premiering below, “Clone 13” rollicks along with the dramatic flair created by slithery horn lines playing off of loping, distorted guitar passages and staggered-start drums. The video shows what happens when one boldly goes where no skeleton has gone before and the tragic ramifications of showing up somewhere unexpectedly with anger issues, PTSD and a lack of self-control. Says Schimmel about the video: “We wanted to create a visual story as dynamic as our music, so we asked the question: What happens if the last human to escape the Earth he just destroyed was judged by soul-sucking Aliens?”
Visions of the Void is out on Tzadik Records (info here) and features guest appearances from fellow multi-instrumentalist maestros and composers Eyvind Kang (Sunn O))), Mr. Bungle, Animal Collective, Secret Chiefs 3, Laurie Anderson, John Zorn), Miller Wrenn (Hildur Guðnadóttir, Escapist), Jessika Kenney (Wolves in the Throne Room, Sunn O))) and percussionist Peter Valsamis. “Clone 13” was directed by Pat Lascu. Animated by Dan Bones. Visual art by Chris Waldrep.
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