Jackie-O Motherfucker – Europe 2002

cat# XØØ2 – 2 x CD – Released in 2003

Freshly home from a successful tour of the Eastern US/Canada & Europe we bring you this expansive (and I mean 150 minutes of fucking jazzbo drone expanse here folks) new double CD from this NYC, Portland, & Vancouver collective of free form folks. Recorded on their 2nd European tour from the fall of 2002, these discs shimmer and build, masterfully weaving tension with ease. All the best tracks and improvisations boiled down to 2 CD’s of tripped out bliss. This release is a jump from Jackie-O’s recent release “Change” on the French Label Textile. Layers of sound decaying & blooming.


Review by Sean Hammond Review from fakejazz
2003 aug 15

”    Among the exciting pockets of today’s American psychedelic landscape, Portland’s singular Jackie-O Motherfucker stand out as one of the more noteworthy. They confidently slide in and out of jazz inflected freak-outs, meditative layers of sound, psychedelic ragas and an elusive mish mash of all points between, echoing bits and pieces of folk, blues and rock. They do this with the usual guitar, bass, synthesizers and drums set up, along with saxophones and a turntable (occasionally warbled strains of random records make their way into the mix)–all used to a strange and entrancing effect. They have a handful of releases out on Ecstatic Peace, Road Cone and Textile (to name a few). They recently started a CDR label, Unity Sound Archive with which they’ve released live recordings (mostly, though not exclusively live JOMF recordings). With a band like Jackie-O, improvisation plays a huge role, so these live recordings are much like albums unto themselves.

Europe 2002 is a split release by U-Sound and Cast Exotic Archives. This past fall, JOMF spent a month touring Europe. They collected the recordings and whittled them down to their best momentsÑtwo CDs. Considering this is an overview of such an extensive tour, the total running time of 150 minutes seems almost too short. But it would be asking too much to get every moment of every show, wouldn’t it? The album opens on an Eastern mode; noodling its way through the haunting melody, the guitar slowly gives way to sheets of sound. In Manchester on Nov. 3, they performed a hazy reading of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, which is immediately followed by (Newcastle, Oct. 29) a saxophone / moog / drum freak out, punctuated by strange low end undercurrents (presumably bass loops), which unfolds into a guitar driven structure held together by laid back drumming. In Italy on Oct. 19, they seamlessly move from a dense drone into a propulsive, almost space rock escalation, which disintegrates into a cluttered mass of strums, clangs, feedback and loops. Disc 1 closes with their version of “Amazing Grace” performed in Sweden, Nov. 6. They originally released a studio version of this on Fig. 5 (Road Cone). Thanks to its spectacular resolution, the version found here is far superior.

While the first disc took its tracks from a handful of different performances, the second disc focuses in on two shows. It begins with two tracks from The Netherlands (Oct. 10). Much like Disc 1, things kick off with a raga. Thanks to a wah pedal, distortion, delay and some subtle drumming, this time the track launches straight into the sun. By the time the saxophone enters into the mix, they have reached heights that their previous releases rarely attain. The last 5 tracks are taken from a show in Finland (Nov. 9). It begins with a hint of structuring complete with vocals, albeit obscured and completely indiscernible. Treading the same paths they wandered on the previous tracks, JOMF were apparently dead on for the whole night in Finland, as this yields quality selections of nearly all of their divergent modes (even down to another version of “Amazing Grace”).

For most bands, a live record is a toss-off or a way to fulfill an obligation with their label. For JOMF, it’s a way for them to extend the reach of their performances. These unique and exciting performances match the material that makes its way onto their “official” albumsÑit was just performed in front of an audience, not the studio. Luckily Tom Greenwood has his mini-disc recorder in tow when they leave on tour, otherwise these great moments would be enjoyed by only a handful of people. And, since I’m not really interested in following JOMF to all their concerts, I’m very happy that they’ll offer us the highlights through their U-Sound Archive. ”