JOHN ZORN — Ipsissimus (with Moonchild Trio)

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JOHN ZORN - Ipsissimus (with Moonchild Trio) cover
3.72 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2010

Filed under Eclectic Fusion


1. Seven Sigils (6:39)
2. The Book of Los (8:21)
3. Apparitions I (3:44)
4. Supplicant (5:32)
5. Tabula Smaragdina (6:12)
6. Apparitions II (4:09)
7. The Changeling (6:32)
8. Warlock (4:56)
9. Apparitions III (3:10)

Total Time: 49:15


- Trevor Dunn /Bass
- Joey Baron /Drums
- Marc Ribot /Guitar
- Mike Patton /Voice
- John Zorn /Alto Saxophone, Piano

About this release

Tzadik ‎– TZ 7386 (US)

Dedicated to Antonin Artaud ~ Edgar Varèse ~ Aleister Crowley

Recorded and mixed February and July 2010 at EastSide Sound, NYC

Thanks to snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

What can one say about this album? The cover sleeve blurb says "Weaving sonic dramas around the legacies of Magick and Alchemy." Okay, I'll buy that and I did. "Powerful secrets are realized through intensity and extremes of experience." John Zorn. Can't say I wasn't warned.

Seven Sigils kicks the album off in high gear with a heavy driving bass line by Trevor Dunn thunderous drums from Joey Baron and then its whoooaaaa de deen heh hah he huh heh whoooo de naahh - Mike Patton doing scat language vocalizations, and then John Zorn appears and starts to strangle a saxophone. But it works and that's the important thing. However this one album I probably never ever ever be able to play for anyone I know in its entirety in one sitting. Maybe only many of the parts for a few seconds at best.

It really is like a soundtrack to a really intense horror movie. Not one of those boring slasher affairs but one that keeps you on the edge of your seat in a more intellectual fashion. Maybe more like a David Lynch flick. In fact you could pair this up with either the Lost Highway soundtrack or Octaves Of The Holy Innocent by Hellborg/Buckethead/Shrieve. The Book Of Los eases the tension of the opener a little, but still has a spooky aspect to it. Marc Ribot's guitar takes center stage on this one, the searing guitar branding your ass flesh. And thennnneeeooogghhh lalalala nnnddduu mmmsoo tnndkllll. OK, you really have to have a little sense of humour with the vocalizationsAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrruuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So anyway, be expected to be taken on a ride of dissonance and wonder and darkness and harmony and horror and beauty and whatever the hell else you want in it or aauurrgghh. If I had an odd division in my collection, I'd have to place it there.

On a final note. The art of the cover isn't dead with the CD: this one's a digipak with three dark themed paintings I don't recognize. It is contained within a gold slip cover that has an equilateral cross cut out in the center of the front and a circle on the back, revealing two of the paintings.
John Zorn's and related projects discography contains very big amount of releases, often even hot fans are not familiar with his every work.During last few years Zorn's releasing few albums every year,2010 was a peak with more than 10 albums released!It's understandable for casual listener it's not easy at all to navigate in Zorn's world of music.

Ipsissimus is an album recorded by The Moonchild team - Zorn's musical project,started in 2006 with four albums released till now. As often with Zorn, you will find well-known names there on board: Mark Patton is well known in rock world as lead vocalist of Faith No More (from 1989), later he sung in Mr.Bungle,Fantômas and was a member in Zorn-related bands Hemophiliac,Naked City and Painkiller.He is without doubt one of most interesting and radical vocalist in modern avant-garde jazz and rock related music.

Bassist Trevor Dunn was Mr.Bungle co-founder (with Mike Patton), played on Zorn albums and is a member of Secret Chiefs 3.Joey Baron is avant-jazz drummer,played with Stan Getz,Bill Frisell and John Zorn, between others. Initially Moonchild Trio consisted of Patton,Dunn and Baron, later more musicians were collaborated on project, as Zorn himself, electronics wizard-freak Ikue Mori,NY down town keyboardist Jamie Saft,guitarist Marc Ribot, some vocalists."Ipsissimus" is recorded by Moonchild quintet of Patton,Dunn,Baron,Ribot and Zorn.

Album's music is concentrated collection of everything Zorn played during last decade,melted in one high energy noisy melodic avant fusion.Initial Moonchild trio is still the heart of all sound there,with Patton screaming and growling wordless vocals and distorted groove coming from Dunn and Baron. Zorn's free sax fast and sharp attacks on some compositions really add enough spices to the sound, as much as Ribot heavy scratching guitar. It's great that album is not a collection of noisy distorted improvs - melodic element is quite important and makes all the music much more attractive and not such a radical listening.

Being a real gem for Zorn's fans, this album is in fact quite experimental and radical listening for more conservative listener. Patton growls and screams in combination with quite distorted sound of some instruments are the question of taste. If you are not afraid of that, I believe you will listen this album with serious interest. For those more familiar with Zorn's music "Ipsissimus" is possibly the best Moonchild project's release and one between best Zorn's albums coming from 2010.

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