Bad Jazz
Daymare (CD-R)
Eh? 2017

Bad Jazz : Bryan Day, Tania Chen, Ben Salomon

Reviews:

(Disaster Amnesiac) Bryan Day has several musical projects going on concurrently. Bad Jazz seems to be one of the more prominent. They're often out on the national tour circuit, hitting house shows, radio stations, and small galleries from coast to coast. On Daymare, this trio conjures up clicking, clacking, scraping, ringing, fuzzy, and warbled tones with the invented instruments of Ben Salomon and Day alongside the electronics and toys from Tania Chen. The latter also uses her considerable conservatory piano chops to get these big block chords and mysterious little filligrees. These passages have a kind of lonely, haunted feel from her piano playing. Much like Bryan's Eloine tape from last year, Bad Jazz often has the sound of robots or large industrial combines as they spring to animate life and realized their sonic potentialities. Daymare's 39 minute piece also features a lot of intimate listening and quiet back and forth Electro-Acoustic idea slinging, at least until one prankster within the trio turns on some funny Casio-sounding programmed schmaltz that takes the whole thing out. A wacky, surreal finish to a mostly inward and intimate disc. Extra laughs from a pretty hilarious inner liner photo! - Mark Pino

(Chattanooga Pulse) A photo included with the new album Daymare from the San Francisco-centered trio Bad Jazz, on the Public Eyesore imprint Eh?, shows a microphone pointed at a plate of raw fish steaks bearing what look like puncture wounds, undoubtedly inflicted in order to create uncomfortable sounds. Over a single improvised 40-minute track, Daymare isn’t just about seafood abuse—it covers strange territory with a bevy of unconventional instruments, including those invented by non-traditionalists Ben Salomon and Bryan Day, plus one recognizable piano played by Tania Chen, who also employs electronics and toys. It’s an album best heard on headphones to soak up every playful-yet-disquieting detail, and its mood is largely a somber one, with moments of unexpected mischief. With a consciousness of space and time, the three players intersect respectfully, perhaps like animals sniffing at each other, without a competitive need to outshine each other. It’s provocative in its own subtle way, like comments muttered under one’s breath. Chen’s dissonant piano chords and cascades are a notable feature, often laid out carefully and thoughtfully despite their ostensibly abstract splatters. At times, her piano clusters seem despairing, plodding forth like a search party that is compelled to keep moving although it doesn’t want to find what it’s looking for. Day and Salomon both serve up a mind-bogglingly wide variety of noises, squeezing and wrenching sounds out of their invented instruments. Metal-on-metal scraping and squeaks are part of the sustained, twisted aural textures provided, along with more organic sounds like the simultaneously silly and disturbing gurgling sounds. On the synthetic side, there are the static rustles of electronic circuits and what sounds like a severely distorted radio transmission of a prerecorded song, and the album ends with a chimpy, toy keyboard playing a preset rhythm/accompaniment that ramps up in tempo to a tiny frenzy along with some kind of frog-sounding wind instrument, bringing the proceedings to an absurd finale. - Ernie Paik