JEREMIAH CYMERMAN – Purification / Dissolution


More often than not I travel across some kind of abashed state, where many records – even those who are conspicuously meritorious – do not offer actual handles for a review, or a mere delineation of the sensations and repercussions that they cause. Then, on any given morning, something happens that suddenly puts all things back in place. This was the case with Purification / Dissolution (an impeccable title considering the circumstance, one would say), second companionless outing by Jeremiah Cymerman after 2008’s In Memory Of The Labyrinth System. And I don’t forget how sparkling Fire Sign, issued by Tzadik last year, was.

The CD, recorded at home, is built upon Cymerman’s work with clarinet, electronics and amplifier. The logic lying at the basis of the music is that of one-take live improvisation, as to maintain the sharpness and momentum of the inaugural inventive command. Starting from that, the products get “hyper-edited” and reorganized according to principles that are not specifically expounded, but evidently seem to gravitate around the orbit of a rampaging immediacy expressed in visceral fashion. The first impression striking this listener as soon as “Charnel Ground” begins is a sort of immoderate wish of compressing dozens of neuroses into a single, organic-sounding snarl enriched and, in a way, “positively devastated” by the protagonist’s howling screams and raw-but-rich-in-harmonics pitches.

With few exceptions, the feeling bequeathed by the whole album stays in that area. Variations abound, dynamics change, but that drive is THE justification of the record’s explosive potential and thrilling allure. Tracks that in their relatively manageable conception harbor a lot of issues: the terminal saturation of the frequency spectrum is counterbalanced by the “desperately vocal” quality of the clarinet, both elements pushing the textures to aggressive extremes that boost the brain processes in the right way. Playing the material loud is the only way to extract all the juices from it, but do not think for an instant that this is unrefined substance: Cymerman is an impenitent genre-breaker whose membership among today’s greats must be granted now.

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