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Album Review

A random generation of extreme music types will do well to describe the Flying Luttenbachers. So death metal-free jazz-noise-punk works just as well as prog rock-black metal-no wave-grind-skronk, leaving Weasel Walter's long-running group as the inevitable heirs to Naked City and Pain Killer without actually sounding like either for more than 20 seconds. The Luttenbachers can also sound like Anthony Braxton, King Crimson, the Contortions, Masayuki Takayanagi, Magma, Napalm Death, and Darkthrone all within one song. How a Luttenbachers record sounds has a lot to do with who Walter is playing with; for The Void his partners are Gorge Trio guitarist Ed Rodriguez and Burmese bassist Mike Green. It's a refreshing return to a full band sound after Systems Emerge from Complete Disorder, which Walter recorded alone and — while still a solid Luttenbachers album — came off a little clinical. The Void is separated into eight parts with a swirling musique concrète introduction followed by seven sections that dovetail from genre to genre, although with a darker edge than some of the earlier Luttenbachers albums. Rodriguez is a savage whip in the Flying Luttenbachers, spiking throughout the disc with psychedelic squeals and precise, pointed attacks. Green brings a suffocating low end to The Void, dominating the central portion of the album and making it the most doom-laden Luttenbachers albums yet. Ending The Void is the only piece not attached by name to the rest of the album, "Sword of Atheism," which hovers in a harsh droning stasis before swooping down and sweeping both the album and listeners into the abyss.


Formed: 1990

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A product of the fertile music scene centered around Chicago's Wicker Park area, the free jazz ensemble the Flying Luttenbachers was formed in 1990 by multi-instrumentalist Weasel Walter, a veteran of area punk bands whose love of the music of avant-saxophonist Hal Russell inspired him to form a jazz group of his own. Walter soon teamed with bassist Bill Pisarri and others to found the Sound Improvisation Collective, who on a flyer for their March 8, 1991, debut performance described themselves as...
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