Han Bennink & Terrie Ex
A sensational pairing of Dutch musical pioneers -- veteran free jazz percussionist Han Bennink and experimental rock guitarist Terrie Ex, the latter long of the anarcho-punk collective The Ex. The duo's guitar-and-drums duets are weird, difficult, and entrancing.
Han Bennink and Terrie Ex are both renowned for their experimental music achievements: Bennink as a revered percussionist with free jazz groups featuring Peter Brötzmann, Derek Bailey, Leo Cuypers, Don Cherry, and many others, and Terrie Ex as a guitar savant for the stalwart anarchist punk ensemble The Ex. In early 2001, the duo teamed up for a high-risk, high-reward album titled The Laughing Owl, featuring 17 ferocious, (mostly) very short compositions of guitar and drums duets. The pieces burst at the seams with rhythmic energy, as you might expect given the collaborators' past work; the music is minimalist but still almost frighteningly frenetic, its collision of punk, noise, and jazz producing squirrelly, libidinous sounds that are both exciting and creepy. The Laughing Owl is the first of a series of Atavistic releases by high-profile experimental duos.