I heard the “Cherry Thing” on my night off during the A L’Arme! Festival in Berlin on the 18th, and again for their performance in Nickelsdorf on the 21st; in both cases the sound was difficult which made it hard to feel like I could fully appreciate the group’s music. For me, the best moments came when the ensemble worked less like a Rock band using Free Jazz elements to reinvent the genre, and more when it worked with the approach utilized by the Art Ensemble and Fontella Bass on “Theme de Yo-Yo.” The most extraordinary music I heard in all of these days, however, was performed by Radian after the “Cherry Thing” performance late Saturday night. Tim Daisy called it beforehand, “I think they’re going to come out and be the band to beat.” To have to play after 1am and command an audience after 4 other bands, including the powerhouse wall of sound by the “Cherry Thing,” was a nearly insurmountable task. But Radian’s deconstructed reinvention of Rock and Electronica was stunning, they had the hair standing up on the back of my neck throughout their disciplined execution of mind bending structures and sound and dynamics. From here, Tim and I traveled to Poznan, Poland to play a duo concert on July 23rd, and in ad hoc combinations with Håvard Wiik and Waclaw Zimpel (Håvard almost didn’t make the show because the organizer, Laurence M?kinia, forgot to tell him about the gig; luckily we saw him in Berlin at A L’Arme! Festival a couple days before!). The music on these days was strong, the audience in Poznan again superb- a wonderful stretch of playing to conclude some weeks away from Chicago.
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