Philadelphia noise guitarist Plotkin and Norwegian free jazz drummer Nilssen-Love crack heads in a championship bout of heavyweight grappling, throwing themselves into a swirling vortex of mutant noise on opening track "The Skin, The Color" before achieving a mournful stuttering truce on elegiac album closer "Death Rattle". 4/5.
If the likes of the thing and fire! aren't quite macho enough for you, "Death Rattle" is your logical next step. Norwegian jazz drummer Nilssen-Love collided with Plotkin in a four-hour recording session of which this is the outcome. You can almost smell the testosterone and sweat pumping out of your speakers, and track titles such as "Cock Circus" speak for themselves. But for music as sheer endurance effort, it takes some beating as Nilssen-Love pounds granite lumps from his drums and Plotkin digs down with vast hyper-aggresive guitar swathes.
From the opening seconds, Plotkin´s raw, bleeding sound makes it very clear he´s playing LOUD - so much so, that Nilssen-Love, normally the most thunderous thing in the room, hunches into a seething background snarl. But, as Plotkin settles into a churning, pukesome drone, Nilssen-Love somehow finds extra reserves of firepower, overlaying the guitar with waves of crashing detail. It's almost as if they´ve negotiated an inversion of the traditional drum / guitar dynamic, with the percussion taking the lead role over the ax´s grinding sonic grids. It all adds up to an exhilaratingly brain-smashing set.
Metal guitarist James Plotkin and The Thing's drummer Paal Nilssen-Love recorded Death Rattle in the States last year in no time at all, just a four-hour session did the trick, and there's an impulsive and immediate quality to the set that isn't really surprising given the circumstances. Yet the extraordinary, knock-'em-out quality of Nilssen-Love's Rashied Ali-meets-Keith Moon method is well captured. While Plotkin, a highly combustible presence as it turns out, is clearly no slouch in the energy department either, he is quite often simply overpowered rhythmically here although he does come to the boil messily on the third track. Longueurs aside when the players circle each other to no obvious result say on 'Primateria' Death Rattle more than rises to the challenge of the confrontation.
Rune Grammofon continued plowing its wilful path with Death Rattle, a collaborative improvised album by Philadelphia-based guitarist James Plotkin and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. A chaotic and wild storm, it will be dug by fans of The Thing (who Nilssen-Love has played with), Sunn O))) (Plotkin has worked with them), Albert Ayler and Nilssen-Love's metal-jazz Scorch Trio.
The Artsdesk (UK)
James Plotkin has primarily made his name with loud, arty metal, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love frequently backs obstreperous saxophonists like Peter Brötzmann, Mats Gustafsson and Ken Vandermark. So it would be reasonable to anticipate a disc of high volume, big swinging dick duels. Right? There's actually relatively little of that to be found on "Death Rattle", despite track titles which suggest second coming of Last Exit. The album has a few downtuned, doomy moments, but much of it finds Plotkin zapping through an array of effects, making math noises that, when laid over Nilssen-Love´s surprisingly steady beats, sometimes remind you of Battles. But on the album's closing title piece, they head into a more atmospheric space, Plotkin letting off short,
The Wire (UK)
James Plotkin and klisjeer og fraser fra i går og Fremdstår som en gitarist for vår tid. This is the reason why the sprayer is clearer and is more real. Forst og stranger he uttrykket hans gjenkjennelig som gitarspill i tradisjonell forstand. That he selvfølge blant avantgardister. Nåt det he says, tilføyes at Plotkins blanding av overstyrte effktor, metalliske tilbøyeligheter og massive riff gir et utradisjonelt sound ... Nilssen-Love underbygger det kraftfulle siget i duoens musikk og hakker the opp. Intensiteten og presisjonen har egenverdi, men trommespillet skaper først og Fremdstadig nye rom i Plotkins solid bygg. Møtet mellom James Plotkin og Paal Nilssen-Love formidler en sult som er sjelden hos så erfarne musikere. Duoen trekker en linje fra Jimi Hendrix´ eksperimentelle område, via Sonny Sharrock and Stephen O´Malleys mørke felt, til en hvit flekk med plass til fin egenart. 5/6.
The electric jazz guitar has been stagnating for several years. If it weren't for light figures like Stian Westerhaus or Brandon Seabrook, you wouldn't have heard anything new since Messrs. Tronzo, Frisell and Ribot. But Westerhaus and Seabrook are far from being in their league. Now they are overtaken by a British guitarist on the right who actually comes from a completely different environment. James Plotkin was the founding guitarist of Napalm Death and as such has revolutionized the six-string in the sound fog between free jazz and extreme metal. He later belonged to the avant-garde industrial band OLD until, like his former colleague Mick Harris, he lost himself more and more in ambient installations. Just at the moment when current extreme forms of metal turn out to be the most progressive avant-garde variant, he urges the guitarist alongside the Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. In four long free metal improvisations, he recalls what once made him famous. He goes to the physical possibilities of his instrument, which is looped and distorted beyond recognition. Nilssen-Love underpins this power improvisation with the most stoic grooves you have ever heard of it. Enduring these four long tracks takes a lot of nerves from the listener. But whoever holds out is absolutely purified afterwards. Nilssen-Love underpins this power improvisation with the most stoic grooves you have ever heard of it. Enduring these four long tracks takes a lot of nerves from the listener. But whoever holds out is absolutely purified afterwards. Nilssen-Love underpins this power improvisation with the most stoic grooves you have ever heard of it. Enduring these four long tracks takes a lot of nerves from the listener. But whoever holds out is absolutely purified afterwards.
In the early 1990s, when Carcass, Entombed, Godflesh, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death and last but not least Pain Killer, with their ultimate fusion of jazz and grindcore, tried out new extremes of sound design on the Earache label in Nottingham James Plotkin with OLD included. In Khanate and Lotus Eaters with Stephen O'Malley and in Jodis with Aaron Turner (from Isis and Mamiffer), he has since continued his guitaristical work, which now in Death Rattle (RCD 2148) presents itself with a special challenge rewarded. His partner is namely PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE, a spiritually related rascal and burrower who first heard Plotkin through a scorch trio disc that O'Malley had played for him on a khanate tour. In 2011 he was already Mixmaster for Hurgu! PNL's drum clash with the guitar from Terry Ex. Now he pulls the guitar registers himself, at 'The Skin, The Color' initially by hand, and yet under the pleasantly grooved surface with tipping figures made of growling and organ-like whistling and trill sounds. In the crabby 'Primateria' mixed up percussively by PNL, loops and escalating distortions have long been used. And at the initially particularly rustic roughened 'Cock Circus' even with digitally accelerated shrapnel fire, which PNL only seems to be able to demonstrate its responsiveness as a Powersquasher or Infinite Jest's tennis crack. Plotkin is now confronted with the rumble and rattle that he thought was the work of two drummers when he first heard it. The fact that the two are not in the slightest about records in terms of power or pace is shown particularly clearly by the final title piece, which has been gougedly ripped off several times or even Chinese gong, which sparkles noisily embellishments with decelerated repetitions. Free Rock sounds so sound and form conscious only with the really good ones.
Bad Alchemy (DE)
As if two electrical wires touch each other, the sparks of this duo begin to spray with immediate force. The American noise and avant metal guitarist James Plotkin meets the Norwegian free power drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. For once the guitarist "accompanies" and streams the drummer through the variations of the gravity cubatures. Four longer tracks inject explosives, decompose the bulky, atomize the motor, touch the prima materia. The smile of a tunnel boring machine that cuts into the mountain of knowledge.
The album title says it all: Death Rattle. No prisoners are taken here. And no friends either. Here you will not sit back and relax. Worlds collide here, in the finest explosions! Recorded in a four-hour session, the album delivers what the protagonists promise: James Plotkin, extreme guitarist with a penchant for everything dark between industrial, noise, dark ambient and you name it, meets the Norwegian exceptional and high-energy drummer Paal Nilssen-Love with a friend Tendency to free pulse. And they are not guilty of anything: together they potentiate their qualities to form a hypnotic-meandering conglomerate of pulse and repetition, which explores abysses that are literally terrifyingly beautiful. While Nilssen-Love literally struggles through space and time, Without ever losing finesse, Plotkin responds with static walls rotating from shattered noise and indicated fragments of melody. Everything passes except the moment. The ears are bleeding - and the hand reaches for the repeat button!
http://pitchfork.com (Plotkin feature)