Boomkat Product Review:
Beat Detectives’ Aaron Anderson & Chris Hontos sprawl outernational modal free jazz vectors under their (coincidentally) topically named project with pals for TTT.
Nuke Watch’s eponymous album is the NYC ensemble’s 4th since 2020, after outings with their NYPD records, plus RVNG’s Commend and Portland’s Moon Glyph. In the wake of Nuke Watch’s nod to the nuclear R&D of ‘The Manhattan Project’, they keep the name literal but the music highly metaphoric here with a 40 minute mosaic of 14 parts of frazzled synth virtuosity, textured sampledelia and mulched electronics porous to influence from all corners, from gamelan to Raï, Saharan strings, and Japanese classical court music, but lysergically morphed into a properly absorbing, if elusive, sort of instrumental storytelling.
A snatch of film noir/sci-fi dialogue opens proceedings to a playful vision of outernational fusion, coming off like Omar Khorshid and Sun City Girls’ offspring in ’NWSR’, and nodding to the communal jams of Don and co in ‘Cherry 1’, with charming clashes of Arabic Raï and Caribbean steel drums in ’TJB01’ following into Alice Coltrane-esque eastern string flurries on ‘QJP1’, while their beat inspector sensibilities are highly attuned on the likes of slouchy groover ‘tribe85bpm rhthm firstpar1t’ and the air-stepping ’92bpmsitartablashythm1’. Gelled together with its expressions of cool chamber jazz (’TJG 3’), Spencer Clark-liek fantasia (’TJG solo’) and the psychoacoustic room recording of ’T Ceno’ it’s a strangely beguiling listen of the inexplicable calibre one might expect of TTT. Just don’t watch the name, alright?