Ear, Nose and Throat
Ear, Nose and Throat is a trio from Baltimore, Maryland who make improvised music that short-circuits the distinctions between harsh noise, free jazz, art-rock and academic electronic music. The varied biographies of its three members define this Bermuda Triangle of sound:
M. C. Schmidt, one half of distinguished electronic duo Matmos, divides his duties between drumming, modular synthesis, and highly physical speech and action with whatever objects he finds ready to hand. Expect furniture to be moved, random things to be inserted in and out of his mouth, and odd snippets of dialogue from interior dramas to just pop up out of nowhere.
Jason Willett, one third of Leprechaun Catering and a longstanding member of Half Japanese, has turned the amplified rubber band into a startlingly powerful double-bass-like soundmaker, and commands attention as he manipulates a bewildering array of customized modular electronics built by noted Baltimore circuit-bender Peter Blasser. He's also a keen trumpet player and signal processor, a kind of secret weapon who slyly pulls the jams into position and then takes them apart (often while rollilng and smoking a cigarette in mid-song).
Max Eilbacher, leader of teenage noise gods Needle Gun and a core member of tribal Baltimore drum-noise unit Teeth Mountain, plays violin, modular synthesizer and saxophone with a purity of intent and a sheer force that belies his 19 years on this planet. Don't let the babyface fool you, Max brings it and then some.
The result is a trio that can go wherever it wants to go: from crystalline new age space music to facemelting power-electronics to sweaty, angular drums and horns skronk-funk to squirrelly post-everything free playing to aktionist tantrums that leave audiences confused and ecstatic. For some time now Baltimore has been home to a great deal of irreverent, bizarrre and ornery music-making (from Nautical Almanac to DJ Dogdick to Cex to Dan Deacon), and the multi-generational, multi-genre pileup that is Ear, Nose and Throat exports the city's pulsating noise/improv scene for the world to gape at.