A bold, ambitious double album from Matt Steckler that reflects his eclectic tastes and interests in a wide range of music. Designed as a continuous listening concept, the two CDs weave together spoken word, improvisation, modern jazz, electronics, popular song and film scores.
At a little under two hours if you listen to the whole thing in one sitting, it’s a bit like being in the audience for a theatrical performance that tells a story, entertains, challenges and frustrates in equal measure. It is no surprise to read that composer and bandleader Stecks has written concert music, theatre and film scores, game audio tracks and also has interests in electroacoustics and multimedia.
The press release notes also mention that this album is a “research-based” exploration of jazz, popular, film and electroacoustic music idioms. And therein, perhaps, lies the problem.
As commendable as much of the material here is, it does occasionally feel all rather over-pickled, and the sheer breadth of styles and ideas is as much a weakness as a strength. Dull it most certainly isn’t.
Hear/buy Matty Stecks & Musical Tramps: Long Time Ago Rumble at mattystecks.bandcamp.com/album/long-time-ago-rumble
CD1: Ltar 1: Invocation; Siddhartha; Ltar II: The Gathering; MB Blues; Ltar III: Good & Evil; Modern Preternatural Rumble; Ltar IV: Pugilsim; Heads Or Tails; Ltar V: Ritualism; Begging The Beguine (48.17)
CD2: Musical Tramps (2019); Ltar VI: Phases; Wish; Ltar VII: Antiquity (Peace); The Sloth; Ltar VIII: Counter Culture; Feel My Way Forward; Shape Of Rumbles To Come; Ltar IX: Isolation; Somersault Of The Earth (55.21)
Matthew Steckler (ts, as, f, v, kyb, elec); Keith Price (g); Matt Kozicki (b); Eric Platz (d, pc); Leanne Zacharias (clo); Catherine Wood (cl); Jeff Presslaff (p, kyb); Hannah Fearn, Megan Demarest, Lenya Wilks (v). Winnipeg, April and May 2019.
Ropeadope Records RAD530