Ches Smith is an American musician (b. San Diego, CA, 1973) whose primary instruments are drums, percussion, and vibraphone. He writes and performs music in a wide variety of contexts, including solo percussion, experimental rock bands, and small and large jazz ensembles.
The fourth album “A Complete And Tonal Disaster” by Congs for Brums, (Ches Smith’s solo percussion and electronics project) came out last September. Why? Because “A Complete and Tonal Dissonance," while perhaps more accurate, is a shittier title. Obviously!
Smith’s new electronics rig tends toward sounds that fall in the cracks of pitch and tempo. Thus when the melodies—clear and tonal in their own tuning—run up against their counterparts on the equal-tempered vibraphone, they produce by turns jarring, shimmering, tense and hilarious situations. Smith capitalizes on this energy each moment, processing, reacting to, and shaping melodic modules on the spot in various ways. Each iteration points to new implications of a rather small amount of material.
On this album we are hearing the raw state of what was played. Smith had a lot on his plate, improvising with drums, vibes and electronics often simultaneously. He left some cringe-worthy doozies in there. Keep an ear out for the mistakes! And keep in mind how easy it is to fabricate a perfect recorded performance these days. The sound rides the border of control and not knowing.
This album is dedicated to Ornette Coleman and Pauline Oliveros.
Ches has also played with John Zorn, Fred Frith, Mark Ribot, Dave Holland, Tim Berne, Mary Halvorson, Darius Jones, Larry Ochs and many more.
Bandcamp new album https://congsforbrums.bandcamp.com/album/a-complete-and-tonal-disaster
"etudes-studies focusing on things I want to get happening in my drumming, vibraphone playing, electronics, misc percussion, or composing"