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April 16th, 2019


Andrew Bernstein - Broken Arc

There's a professional wrestler who goes by the name of Pete Dunne and he's got a very unusual move in his arsenal. Most submission wrestlers go for holds that, while they look impressive, it's hard to imagine what it feels like to be on the receiving end of. We've got no frame of reference for the figure four leglock or the Boston crab. But having a big strong lad grab our fingers and snapping them apart? It makes our eyes water just thinking about it.

So it is with the saxophonist Andrew Bernstein, best known for his work with Horse Lords. He limits himself to one signature style: full of busted overblowing and dissonant minimalist arpeggiation. All music making is a physical act, but we can't imagine what it would feel like to be Albert Ayler or Sonny Rollins. But with Bernstein we can feel ourselves in his position, the sax resonating in his hands full of life. It's visceral music, seldom pleasant, pushing the limits of his instrument. But more than that, Broken Arc makes you wince. It's from his 2018 solo album An Exploded View of Time.

Andrew Bernstein - Broken Arc