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John Zorn - 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 3: Locus Solus CD (album) cover


John Zorn



2.18 | 3 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
2 stars John Zorn: 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 3: Locus Solus [2004]

Rating: 4/10

This third volume of John Zorn's 50th Birthday Celebration series serves as a sequel to his 1983 release Locus Solus. That album was one of his earlier works, released before he became the avant-garde titan that he is today. It was an interesting listen, but its bizarre mix of elentronica, avant-jazz, grindcore, and spoken-word ended up sounding more annoying than entertaining. Because of this, I was not particularly excited about this reprisal. Guitarist Arto Lindsay and drummer Anton Fier join Zorn on stage for a flurry of avant-garde improvisation. This album is stylistically similar to the original Locus Solus: electronics, metal, free-jazz, and spoken-word have all been stirred together. The album is a completely spontaneous live performance, so it is actually even more dissonant and unapproachable than its predecessor.

This performance starts out rather well. Zorn plays some nice sax improv, and Fier's drums are interesting. As things progress, however, the album plunges into absolute noise. Any sense of musical coherency is lost in waves of screeching and unnecessarily unmelodious sax warbling. Lindsay's performance in general is fairly useless; his guitar playing sounds like microphone feedback played underneath the rest of the instruments. While there are some fun avant-garde moments here, this is a noisy and unpleasant album that I would only recommend to die-hard Zorn aficionados.

Anthony H. | 2/5 |


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