(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Edit Architect (2014), 5/10
The Bones you've Never Felt (2017), 6.5/10
For When I Fade (2018), 5.5/10
Fragments Humming for Sun and Stars (2018), 6/10
Images without Art (2018), 6/10
Faith in Numbers (2018), 6/10
The Fortunes Told (2020), 6.5/10

i.o, the project of hyper-prolific drummer Maxwell Patterson in Vancouver, recorded more than 200 albums in less than ten years, from the first loose jams of Edit Architect (2014) to the lengthy and violent improvisations of the No Guardians for Rusted Remains of 2021. The Bones you've Never Felt (2017) contains only two lengthy improvisations, notably The Bones you've never Felt (16:49), which is mostly a metal-jazzy guitar solo with drumming that is almost death-metal. For When I Fade (2018) consists of duets for piano and drums (both played by him). The piano attempts melodic improvisations but the drumming is simply torrential and largely independent in pieces like Direct In Dark (12:10), It Looked Like You Were Made Of Light (12:10) and I Could Never Be As Brave As You (8:28). He was a one-man power-trio (drums, guitar and bass) on Fragments Humming for Sun and Stars (2018). If Flickers Sound Ethereal (13:31) is mostly a vain drumming solo, a display of his savage energy, there is an unlikely narrative coherence in the neurotic but dynamic Fragment Humming For Sun And Stars (9:27), with a great crescendo of tremolos. This Fire In Savage Hearts (11:56) unleashes another volcanic drumming solo over a looping guitar pattern. Elsewhere, as in Cold The Animated Wind (8:29), the music is indeed a bit too spastic.

Images without Art (2018) is yet another mixed bag: Save them Forver (17:16) is another piece of sterile drumming over a looping guitar motif, but Hard Dreams Soft Bleed (10:12) is a free improvised duet for drums and guitar of some interest, and Images Without Art (14:03) is one of his best punk-jazz nightmares with screaming vocals.

His best ideas are blends of musique concrete, free-jazz and garage-rock. He played drums, guitar, bass, piano and saxophone on Faith in Numbers (2018). Our Concrete Shells (14:34) follows the disadventures of an electronic loop and a skinny beat. Pale After the Spirits Scared is a sax solo over spastic drumming. The free-jazz mayhem of Mechanize and Damage is a prelude to The Fortunes Told (2020), his "punk" album. The drumming apocalypses of Dire Throughts Martial Arts and Turn to the Sky compete with the chaotic strumming, drumming and shouting of From Slow Divisions in terms of insanity. Holographic Life is a grotesque Captain Beefheart-esque rave-up with psychotic vocals.

Patterson also recorded Spirit Volume (2019) and Chaos is God Neighbor (2021) with City (aka Will Ballantyne), and The Holographic Medium (2020) with guitarist Fiona Gurney.

(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )