Violence of Faction - CD in digipak with original artwork

Violence of Faction, the tenth release by New York-based musician Collin Sherman, presents experimental jazz that fuses saxophones and hard-swinging rhythms with a variety of electronics and distorted drones. 

 

Like his previous releases, Collin recorded Violence of Faction by playing every part himself, overlaying the separate instruments in the studio.  This album weaves together intricate melodies, harmonies and solos with saxophones and clarinets, bass lines from rich analog synths, and realistic-sounding drum programming, along with other electronic flourishes and virtual instruments.  Collin’s alto saxophone, as his primary instrument, takes the focus in these six compositions, as he plays jagged, aggressive lines that create excitement throughout. 

 

Free improvisation is a search for truth and transcendental beauty.  Although free jazz is a primary influence on Violence of Faction, Collin maintains a keen sense of melody which helps define that search in each piece.  Although that search may never end, through this music, hopefully, we may all come a little closer to knowing that truth which we seek.  

Fungible Deities - CD in digipak with original artwork

Fungible Deities, the ninth release by New York-based musician Collin Sherman, is a continuation of the jazz-centric execution which began with 2017’s Biologic Obligations.  The pieces use jazz rhythms and free improvisation, while incorporating metallic soundscapes and ambient drones. 

 

While the focus of Fungible Deities is clearly on jazz, many of the pieces eschew the common head/solos/head structure for a more fluid theme-based structure, with short refrains repeating at various points throughout each composition.  Drawing, to various degrees, from New York’s Downtown avant-garde, early electronic experimentation, New Orleans collective improvisation, 1960s spiritual jazz, noise and drone music, Collin fuses disparate influences to create a coherent sound reflecting contemporary anxieties. 

 

Since the release of his first album of ambient electronic music in 2012, Collin’s style has expanded with each release to incorporate more live instrumentation, layers of sound, and greater complexity.  Fungible Deities represents his most stylistically focused release to date.  

Biologic Obligations - CD in digipak with original artwork

Horns, analog synths, and propulsive rhythms provide the ingredients for unexpected compositions and free improvisation.  This is best described as left-field, sludgy DIY jazz. Oily analog synths gurgle simple harmonies over shifting rhythms while reeds blow melodic, dissonant, then consonant, and always free enough to smudge the outlines of what you thought was the structure, but keeps changing. Classic jazz combo sensibilities blend with electronic experiments, drones, and noise to create something truly unique.

 

Pleasant Enough - MP3

This is a foray into harsh noise, made from the unrepentant abuse of various analog synths, outboard mixers, horns, novelty instruments and other junk.  I don't consider myself a noise artist per se, but the musical structures I utilize tend to be rather loose, which lends itself well to a noisy or collage effect. This album is the product of lots of experimentation with different techniques for making some truly awful sounds, lots of editing large troves of the resulting sound files, and more obsessive tweaking than one might think for something that is going to end up sounding like noise anyway. The results act as a nice steel wool to scour away the buildup of frustration and resentment that keep you up at night.

"Accompaniments for Sparse Rhythms" - CD in digipak with original artwork

As the title suggests, this is the first of my projects to consistently use rhythm throughout the album. I use a variety of instruments, including soprano sax, alto sax, soprano clarinet, bass clarinet, analog synths, electric guitar, and various electronics to create a sound that melds improvisations rooted in jazz with distorted drones and electronic textures. A forceful combination of electronic, jazz, improvisation, noise and drone formats.

 

Edition of 100.

 

Available from Amazon, CD Baby, and Bandcamp.

"Extended Sonority" - MP3

Long-form ambient piece which utilizes digitally treated acoustic instruments and non-traditional sound sources. This piece utilizes alto saxophone and bass clarinet, both digitally treated to alter their original sounds, as well as synthesizers and static. It slowly evolves over the course of over thirty minutes with repetitive mechanical sounds ebbing in over time.

 

Available from iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and Bandcamp.

"Indeterminate" - CD in digipak with original artwork

The instruments utilized on this piece are saxophones, clarinets, keyboards, guitars, theremin and various electronics. The first piece starts with high tones, followed by big low harmonies provided by a heavily reverberated theremin. The slow drop of the perfect 5th down to something close to a diminished 5th (and back up again) provides a source of repeating tension and release. This is punctuated by synthetic string swells and seemingly random percussion stabs. The end is capped with a clarinet melody. This sets the tone for the rest of "Indeterminate", using similar instrumentation to complete the rest of the album, as well as some additional recorded sounds, vinyl pops, and a mix of analog and software synthesizers.

 

Edition of 300.

 

Available from Amazon, CD Baby and Bandcamp.

"Forms" - CD in jewel case with original artwork

For this album I wanted to create something that had more bite than much of the drone/ambient music which leans toward the pretty or minimal end, while making it more substantial than pure "noise" music. The particular variety of instruments used here suits that purpose well, as the album includes saxophone, clarinet, guitar, theremin, and various keyboards and electronics. Through the distortion, there is always a little taste of a melodic line to tease you in while you revel in layer after layer.

 

Edition of 300.  

 

Available from Amazon, CD Baby, and Bandcamp.  

"Writhing in Grace" - MP3

The slow transitions from section to section balance a growing tension with a feeling of grace and lightness. A feeling of being submerged is gradually replaced by a relentless mechanical presence, which is resolved subtly, just as it first appeared.

 

Available from iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and Bandcamp.

"Static" - CD in jewel case with original artwork

My musical background lies primarily in playing jazz saxophone and clarinet. After becoming interested in minimalism, I wanted to experiment with how electronics could be used to manipulate certain traditional elements of musical structure (or in some cases eliminate them altogether) in order to achieve emotional resonance in surprising ways. This is the genesis of “Static”. Enjoy. 

 

Edition of 300.

 

Available from Amazon, CD Baby, and Bandcamp.