Alto!, ADT, Ape Forward | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Alto!


Maria Savulescu

Alto!, ADT, Ape Forward 

When: Fri., July 8, 9 p.m. 2016
Price: $8
This unusual Portland trio supposedly began as a party band, and there’s no question they throw down hard on their new album LP3 (Trouble in Mind). I only wish I’d been to more parties at which Alto! provided the soundtrack. Percussionists Kyle Emory and Steven Stone generate a crushing bed of polyrhythms beneath the blown-out guitar lines of Derek Monypeny, who’s toured as a member of Sir Richard Bishop’s Freak of Araby project. The band has clearly absorbed some of the primitive international sounds chronicled by Seattle label Sublime Frequencies. When not laying down huge metallic slabs that lumber along like an elephant, the guitarist displays a knack for pushing twang-driven lines reminiscent of Lebanese guitarist Omar Khorshid deep into the red. On “Piece Fourteen” distorted bell chimes summon the buzzing-likembes sound of Konono No. 1, with the band pushing and pulling between loose ritual grooves and slashing Krautrock. The mix of seething guitar and grinding beats on “Piece Twelve” sounds closer to doom than anything that might come out of the Middle East, though it does serve up some parched desert sounds during the second half. As much as Alto! may borrow from traditional sounds across the sea, their sound is their own—a grinding sprawl that never stops moving.
— Peter Margasak



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