Standout Track: “Home Soda Gifts!” which uses a jazzy, un-metered guitar loop as the framework for a Sonny Sharrock–worthy improvised freakout. Guitarist Edward Ricart and drummer Sam Lohman—who has logged some time performing with Japanese psych-rock band Acid Mothers Temple—take a moment to loosen up, but by the time they hit the three-minute mark, it’s clear they’ve reached interstellar space.
Musical Motivation: Matta Gawa, as Ricart sees it, is just following a long tradition of post-hardcore musicians evolving into full-bore improvisers. “It’s sort of mixing a ’90s postrock or math-rock aesthetic with free jazz and noise,” explains the guitarist, who works at a Barnes & Noble in Reston. Ricart also books an experimental music series at Bossa, a club in Adams Morgan, and he’s crossed paths with a few other cases. “I did a couple of shows for Dan Higgs; he made that transition also.” says Ricart, mentioning the former frontman of Dischord band Lungfish, who now frequently performs cranium-unfolding psych-folk and compositions for jew’s-harp. “I think there’s a similar energy between the two [types] of music.”
Repeat Offense:Some hardcore improvisers subscribe to the idea that if a band plays together too frequently, it starts delivering predictable results and, thus, its members aren’t truly improvising. This is not a huge concern for Lohman and Ricart, however. “I like the way that it sounds,” admits Ricart. “So, I don’t mind having a particular sound.” They may even take it one step further. “At some point over the next few months we’re going to start working on some compositions,” he says.