D Bayne - Press
Following is a selection of reviews related to recent projects and releases.
MusicMap, January 19, 2022
Cheer-Accident has a long and exciting history. Formed sometime in the early 80's, they released their first album in 1986 and created a mix of progressive rock and modern noise and alternative rock.
With their experimental and frequently changing style, they earned a certain reputation and were mentored by producer icon Steve Albini, among others. One of their most exciting releases in the mid-90s was the disc "Trading Balloons", which was marketed as an EP and consisted of the 52-minute title track, which was recorded by 8 musicians and 14 singers. So as you can see, you never really know what to expect from a new Cheer Accident album.
And so it is with the current work “Hong Kong”. This time there is only a little more than half an hour of music and sounds, which are divided into 19 tracks. The whole thing is based on a kind of concept, which in turn - the title gives it away - was inspired by Hong Kong. Field recordings were made on trips to the city a few years ago and these now provide the background for the short tracks called "Soho", "Airport", "Robinson Road" and so on.
Overall, there is only a little rock to be heard, one has advanced further into the spheres of jazz, free jazz and also contemporary music. But they haven't forgotten how to pull out melodies and build up moods and suspense, and thus take the listener with them on the short trip through Hong Kong. Anyone who gets involved can be pulled through the streets of SoHo, dive through various streets of the city and watch the crowds at the airport. The music for this is piano and brass-heavy, accordingly, as already mentioned, rather jazzy. The wild outbursts are rare, but perfectly set and never overly ambitious.
A sometimes atmospheric, sometimes wild ride through bizarre noises, sounds and moods that never drift into pure noise.
MusicMap, January 18, 2022
Cheer-Accident [here] are Cory Bengtsen (baritone saxophone, electronics), D Bayne (piano), Jeff Libersher (electric guitar), Mike Hagedorn (tenor and soprano trombone), Ross Feller (soprano, tenor and baritone saxophone) and Thymme Jones (piano).
In December of the past year, the ensemble released a work for Shameless Records, entitled "Hong Kong", which includes a series of compositions based on some field recordings dating back to August 2015, obtained during some walks in Hong Kong and in adjacent areas.
It is a unique and evocative way of describing the city, through a painstaking work on field recordings and on reasoned improvisations, in a certain sense "partial". The record, which in the vinyl edition was made with sustainable and eco-friendly materials, includes nineteen tracks, for a total duration of just over half an hour.
Opened by the chaotic and complex "Soho", which runs out in twenty seconds and precedes the contrasts and light stratifications of "Robinson Road I" and "II", "Hong Kong" ends with "Airport V", fifth and last dedicated composition and airport-inspired, with a barely perceptible flow of voices and ambient noises in the background.
What is striking, however, is the ability to have created a constant and unique flow, which knows no real pauses and which inextricably binds all the pieces, not just those divided into more than one part. In this way, the journey appears inexhaustible: the feeling is to follow the musicians on a beautiful journey of discovery.
Beach Sloth, January 17, 2022
Cheer-Accident always provides the unexpected, and they prove that in spades with the field recording explorations of “Hong Kong”. These are no regular field recordings. Everything about them features a bit of compositional flourishes. Sometimes these are right at the very core of the work, particularly on the longer pieces, but much of the time they are peripheral. On the periphery their flourishes are small, a horn here, guitar lick there, but always making sure that the band and the found sounds become one. Quite a unique approach but then Cheer-Accident have been a uniquely odd band operating on the edges of popularity for literal decades.
Sort of categorizing the songs as specific songs proves to be a bit of a moot point. Rather than go for structure, they choose geography instead. Thus, the song titles provide a bit of context in terms of the field recordings’ origins. At times the band seems to be subtly weaving their way through the various alleyways and roads making sure there is that right element to it, one that feels completely astounded. While the recordings are of primarily urban settings, they make sure to maintain a degree of lightness. Hong Kong is a beautiful, vibrant city and they capture that through their own investigations into the deep, rather enthralling tracks. Sequenced perfectly they quite literally bring the listener on this grand journey.
Hong Kong reveals yet another side of the relentlessly playful and experimental Cheer-Accident.
Rockerilla, January 2022
Veicolo della creatività vulcanica e fuori dagli schemi del tastierista Thymme Jones, i Cheer-Accident volano da Chicago a Hong Kong per catturare in musica le folle e il caso della metropoli asiatica. Le diciannove tracce sono legate a specifici quartieri ‘mappati’ attraverso registrazioni sul campo le cui caratteristiche codificate guidano ogni breve improvvisazione. Registrazioni in loco e in studio vengono poi sovrapposte per creare il prodotto finale, und visualizzazione sinestetica del canto di una città - tanto difficile da descrivere quanto da recensire - che richiede molteplici ascolti ricompensati da miriadi di dettagli nascosto.
A vehicle of the volcanic and unconventional creativity of keyboardist Thymme Jones, Cheer-Accident fly from Chicago to Hong Kong to capture the crowds and the case of the Asian metropolis in music. The nineteen tracks are linked to specific neighborhoods 'mapped' through field recordings whose codified characteristics guide each short improvisation. On-site and studio recordings are then superimposed to create the final product, a synaesthetic visualization of a city's song - as difficult to describe as it is to review - which requires multiple plays rewarded by myriad hidden details.
Avant Rock by Neil Kulkarni
The Wire, December 21, 2021
Based on a series of recordings made in August 2015 on walks through various neighbourhoods and locations around Hong Kong and its surrounding environs, this record combines those found sounds with veteran Chicago art rock unit Cheer-Accident's fragmentary improvisational performances. Each field recording was transcribed into a sound map which then guided the band's improvisations so what you hear throughout Hong Kong is a sense of fluidity, symmetry and contrast - the process makes for a really convincing, layered, dynamic and complex psychogeographical exploration of a city at a critical point in its history. A true travelogue for the ears.
Meditations on Present Time
Bruce Lee Gallanter
Downtown Music Gallery, March 20, 2015
D Bayne... whose small yet serious label Luminescence, has released four discs so far of trios, septet and sextet. Although this is a recording of solo piano, there is much more going on. Mr. Bayne carefully blends in aleatoric sounds to the written or improvised parts, adding a sly sonic seasoning that evokes ghosts or spirits. Notes echo or sustain while a car passes by, a distant radio or static add a sense of mystery. Australian composer/pianist mostly records broken pianos left outdoors. The background ambiance changes on each piece as does the placement of the piano in the foreground or background. A sung version "Amazing Grace" floats in and out of our view or hearing. Mr. Bayne plays repeating phrases somewhat similar to Terry Riley or one of those other minimalists. Each of the 12 pieces are named after geographical locations so that the field recordings gives these pieces a sense of place. Kind of like wandering around a dream or maze of scenes. The packaging also includes pictures of these places and is also superbly done. I had this disc on a couple of days ago when this man who was looking for records by Terry Riley and LaMonte Young came in. He listened and loved this disc since it evokes a similar spacious vibe, an inner sense of calm. Since the piano often moves in the aural landscape, one must concentrate in order to hear the way certain theme are explored. Highly recommended if you want to transported somewhere else.