already dead tapes & records


Adams / Bucko / Cunningham

Every Way But What Came To Mind

March 15, 2019

Artist Location:
Chicago, Dubuque, St. Louis

“Improvisational music can take many forms and tread many tracks, from harsh and imposing to gentle and welcoming. It can seem impenetrable and alienating at times, and even the most understandable improvisational musics are very often not for the faint of heart.

Not so with this debut release by Alexander Adams, Bob Bucko Jr, and Alexander Cunningham. These three masterful musicians play together on a level that is wonderful to experience. There is an easy ebb and flow to these sounds that feel natural even as they sound supernatural, and the consonance of ideas between the trio makes one wonder at times whether this music is improvised at all.

The production of this record is dry and understated, allowing the instruments to speak in their natural voices, which the players often then refuse to do. Adams’ percussion is sparse at times and quite dense at others, yet the drums never fail to cradle the rest of the instruments. Bucko’s often-effected saxophone takes point on speaking truths in a way that is concise yet expressive, while Cunningham’s electrified violin is nearly unrecognizable as such, coming in now and then as a foil and heel to the others—a counterpoint to a counterpoint.

With each side clocking in at about 20 minutes, this record offers plenty to consider. It is a thousand motifs in quick succession, never lingering long enough to get stale while fully exploring each idea to its natural terminus. Even as this music is ever-changing, however, it always seems to reference back to its first few moments, constantly wondering out whether or not we should all just go back to the beginning and start again. This music makes me feel like I am getting through something and finds me whole on the other side.”
-Jarad Selner, Already Dead Tapes, 2019

Cassette Edition of 75
Art by Alex Cunningham