CHRIS PUGH / JACK GOLD-MOLINA – One Hundred Years Of Abstraction

Sol Disk

Already aware of Molina’s excitingly propulsive drumming style, this is my first contact with guitarist and composer Pugh. Though the press release depicts these pieces – born as improvisations and subsequently charted – as informed by a symphonic spirit, there’s not much here that made me think about Gustav Mahler. In truth, it is quite difficult to pin down stylistic coordinates in One Hundred Years Of Abstraction. What can be said is that, for the large part of the disc, the duo’s engine runs with high-octane fuels, joining the rhythmic fantasy of Molina’s intuitions with Pugh’s love for a solid guitar tone exalted by reasonably intelligible figurations comprising, among other spices, Arabic/Spanish curliness and Dick Dale-ish surf-punk hues. Another occasional aspect that must be recalled is the semi-obsessive repetition of certain phrases and chords, as to generate states of electrically charged daze. In quieter segments, pseudo-ritual clattering procedures and scratchy practices on strings and pickups shift the focus on an experimentalism that doesn’t sound that radical after all, allowing the listener in without excessive trouble. Ultimately, an utterly truthful album lacking just a tiny bit of impudence to be classified at a higher level of memorable extremism.

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