July 17th, 2013
Cameron Sharif (keyboard), Ray Larsen (trumpet), Mark Hunter (bass), Evan Woodle (drums)
Following Syrinx Effect last Thursday evening was yet another band arising from Seattle’s embarrassment of avant-jazz riches, Chemical Clock, an aggressive and determined young band with a lot of good ideas and more than enough chops to pull them off. Led by keyboardist and composer Cameron Sharif, the quartet’s self-titled debut CD EP is a brief and refreshing blast of post-everything avant fusion. Keep in mind that the word “fusion” is a bit loaded. Fusion, to Sharif and his colleagues, means something very different than it did back in the 20th century. The combination of Ray Larsen’s electric trumpet and Shari’s electric keys might suggest a set inspired by Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969) – but while such influences are unavoidable, Chemical Clock is not about reinterpreting or regurgitating the past. Indeed, there is very little nostalgia going on here. The fusion here encompasses aspects of jazz, electronic dance music, prog-metal, contemporary classical music, and the indefinable electro-acoustic music currently being explored by edgy rock bands such as Lightning Bolt and Hella.