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Pitom biography
Pitom is an avant-jazz quartet from New York founded by Jewish guitarist Yoshie Fruchter. When the band was created, it was named Plain Hex Quartet.
Fruchter joined violinist Jeremy Brown, bassist Shanir Blumenkranz, and drummer Kevin Zubek in 2006 for an eclectic exploration into the realm of alterna-jewish tunes. Brown and Fruchter have become close collaborators with time and have worked together often. Pitom stayed not very known by the people and the critics for a long time. It took them two years of gigging, writing and rehearsing to get discovered by John Zorn, who eventually released them on his label Tzadik, partly due to their involvement in the "Radical Jewish Culture" led by Zorn himself.
Pitom's music can be described as a mix of grunge (they cite in their influences Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Alice in Chains), jazz, avant-garde, rock, klezmer, new music and (even) punk (elements).
In Hebrew, Pitom means "suddenly," and the music delivers what the name conveys. The songs by Pitom play through like a soundtrack, powerful and intense, but with dips and dives in dynamics and expression. The Jewish influence is subtle, but present in a big way, both from a compositional and instrumental standpoint.

Pitom released only one, self-titled, album in 2008. It was highly acclaimed by the critics. Just back from their first European tour, they are currently working on a second album to be released on Tzadik in September 2010.

Biography written by Gabriel Rivest (Tsevir Leirbag)
Revised, corrected and helped by Yoshie Fruchter

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PITOM discography

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4.33 | 3 ratings
3.25 | 5 ratings
Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes

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PITOM Reviews

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 Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes by PITOM album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.25 | 5 ratings

Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes
Pitom RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by m2thek
Prog Reviewer

3 stars At the end of 2010, I had found an immense interest in avant-prog. Aided by Coyote, and last year's album of the year, Clivages, the odd world of avant-garde and chamber rock presented a completely new kind of music for me to explore. Fueled by my new found interest, and my desire to listen to as many 2011 albums as possible, I purchased Pitom's Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes with almost no information about it. While there's only one serious crime committed on the album, the music is generally pretty good, but gets a little tiring towards the end.

Pitom makes it very clear what their go-to sound is going to be right off the bat: grunge influenced guitar, combined with violin. It's a really interesting, dark combo, that's pretty fun to listen to. The two usually play in unison, but the few times that one plays a counterpoint to the other are excellent. The violin occasionally employs pizzicato, making for some unusual passages, and the few guitar solos are nice. There is one moment that's composed of a solid minute of horrible static from the guitar, but luckily this is the only unlistenable portion. It should also be noted that Pitom is a Jewish band, and you can hear some influences in their melodies. It's really wild to hear them in this context, but it works surprisingly well.

While the sound of Blasphemy is initially fresh and interesting, it really starts to get tiring towards the end. The texture created throughout the album is very similar, with the guitar and violin having almost identical timbres from song to song. As well as a similar sound, nearly every song uses the same basic structure: a short melodic section that gets repeated for a minute or two, a minute or two of wandering into solos, and a reprisal of the introductory passage to close. Normally the fact that an album uses a similar texture and atmosphere isn't a big problem, but because of the composition, the songs start get really predictable. By the time you get to the last few songs, you can hear a few seconds of it, and predict exactly where it will go and end up.

Something positive to be said about Blasphemy's fairly static sound is that you can listen to a song or a few samples, and have a very good idea if you will like it or not. Even if its length is a little disappointing for the content, the standard guitar and violin combo is a good one, and if you like what you hear on one song, there's a lot of it to be found. If that's true, then Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes is worth a purchase as long as you're not expecting much more than what you initially hear.

Thanks to evolutionary_sleeper for the artist addition.

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