Record Reviews

Pivixki

Avant-garde piano and grindcore drums. Not exactly a merlot/sirloin or pinot grigio/swordfish kind of musical match but then Sabbatical Records, the Melbourne-based label have a tendency of serving up challenging and experimental combinations. This – the 14th release in the Sabbatical series – sees Anthony Pateras, a multidisciplinary musician best known for his performance on piano and analogue electronics, team up with Max Kohane, the hardcore and punk drum whiz who has smashed skins for the likes of Far Left Limit, George W Bush, Cut Sick and Agents of Abhorrence.

From the opening ‘Submit to the Sound’, Pateras’ pianistic skills and Kohane’s intensity is evident and, yes, like a cross between Iannis Xenakis and Discordance Axis the results make for an interesting collaboration. ‘Modes of Limited Perception’ starts with some delicate piano twinkling until the tranquility is interrupted by Kohane’s rapid drums blast in much the same way a quiet day in the park can be disrupted by a low flying helicopter blasting 400 rounds of live ammunition into the duck pond. ‘Fu-Neen-Molds-Betaal’ in contrast has some Guantanamo Bay-like funk going on, and the interaction between the percussion and piano is almost playful.

Through his work with Agents of Abhorrence, Kohane has gained a reputation as a complex drummer and there is no doubt his true percussive love comes from hardcore punk and grind. But on a song like ‘Ayala Valva’ he shows off a controlled and more delicate side. Recorded at the ABC’s Melbourne studios by erstwhile avant-garde music engineer Chris Lawson, the songs sound great even though Kohane’s ferocious drums can sometimes override Pateras piano. But, hey, you try and stop a stampeding buffalo.

There is no denying the duo’s skills and musical dexterity, but the wild fusion will not be for everybody. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for some challenging musical acrobatics, it’s well worth tracking down one of the 200 limited-edition CDs.