Apropos of Jaimie Branch & Jason Nazary making their Sound It Out debut on March 5 with their electro-duo Anteloper, here is the review from DownBeat of their first album together, Kudu… The show on March 5 is a double-bill, with Jason also playing drums in a new trio with guitarist Ryan Ferreira and saxophonist Nathaniel Morgan…
Anteloper – a duo project of trumpeter Jaimie Branch and drummer Jason Nazary, both doubling on synthesizers – explores gritty acoustic-electronic soundscapes, with the urban sonic edge complemented by plenty of melodic-textural hooks. This isn’t “jazz,” per se, though it is forward-minded instrumental music made by inventive, jazz-honed improvisers. Branch, boldly expressive on her horn, has ties to the Chicago and New York avant-jazz and indie-rock scenes, crossing from one to the other as a free spirit; her creatively orchestrated debut album, Fly or Die, earned just notice last year. Nazary, a Brooklyn-based producer and instrumentalist, has a track record of melding the synthetic with the organic from free-jazz to art-rock.
The liner note for Kudu by cornetist and fellow sonic adventurer Rob Mazurek advises, “Listen with eyes closed and don’t move.” The album is indeed an enveloping experience, one to be played from end to end for cumulative impact. Yet there are apt entry points. Opener “Oryx” – after the glitchy atmospherics of its intro and a section with Don Cherry-like fanfares – boasts a back-half melody that has the pull of a good rock chorus, grabbing hold in the synths before Branch’s open horn plays on and around the tune, ornamenting it like a singer. The 15-minute swirl of “Ohoneotree Suite” has a psychedelic Doppler effect, as if the listener were riding by a long row of open windows with snatches of tunes and rhythms bending your ear one after the other as they leap out and then fade into the blurring, dizzying electro-acoustic texture.
— Bradley Bambarger