Max Nordile

Reviews

Max Nordile Little Kicks cassette

Mark my words, the MAX NORDILE comprehensive box set that is gonna drop in like 2036 is going to blow people’s minds, and you will be able to tell your kids that you were there on the ground floor. No sonic experimentation seems to be off limits, and the near constant output is humbling.  Little Kicks is an improvisational adventure taking advantage of wind instruments (mainly but maybe not exclusively saxophone), sporadic percussion, and a damaged guitar with mumbled background vocal missives. No rules…the “noise not music” set needs to start focusing this direction, because if you inject this shit into some CONFUSE-obsessed motherfuckers, I think my life will melt in the best way imaginable.

Max Nordile Vying for the Dime cassette

Another month, another offering from Oakland improvisationalist MAX NORDILE. A true sonic outsider, NORDILE mixes (seemingly) random multi-instrumental experimentation with field recordings and found sounds, creating movements and moments rather than “writing” anything resembling “songs” in any traditional sense. Of the eight pieces that make up Vying For The Dime, “101” and “E EE Exit” probably exemplify this Dadaist approach to music the best, but (as with many of NORDILE’s releases) they are best experienced as parts of a whole. While I often teeter on the knife edge of hyperbole, there is a genuine greatness in the simplicity, in the honesty, and the evolution is ongoing. As always, I recommend.

Max Nordile Building a Better Void LP

21st century renaissance man MAX NORDILE continues his assault on logic with another solo joint that defies expectations and rewards those predisposed to the counter-intuitive. You may know him from art-punk units like PREENING and UZI RASH, but when left to his own devices, Max gets into a heap of trouble and makes an intriguing mess—a “Public Pile” according to one track. Opener “Deep Face” sounds like ALASTAIR GALBRAITH having a bad day, while other cuts suggest CAROLINER playing it straight. “Diligent Pores” is an extended meditation that steeps coffee shop clatter and submerged guitar noise in a broken teacup. By the end of the album, the microphone is in the waffle iron and your head is in the radiator and everything is in its proper place.

Max Nordile Gym Places

A very strange artsy/noise project. Sounds to me like a mixture of field recordings and intentionally badly played instruments. Unlike the previous release by MAX NORDILE that I reviewed, some of the “songs” on this release have vocals on them, delivered in a lazy, kooky, CAPTAIN BEEFHEART style of spoken-word singing.

Max Nordile Let Them Fail cassette

I don’t really know what this is. Noise? Free jazz? The unintelligible sounds a novice band makes before starting their set? An art project? Someone learning to play a bunch of different instruments? Hanging out at Guitar Center? As far as I can tell, there are five “songs” on this cassette, each as confusing as the last. Repetitive squeaks and squawks played for a while before abruptly ending. Favorite track: ________, which is my way of saying that there is no track listing within the cassette or available online.

Max Nordile Primordial Gaffe cassette

This cassette looks amazing. Super slick pro-dubbed silver cassettes, three-panel foldout J-card cover with black print on shimmery silver paper stock. I am learning a lot this month about the dangers of focusing on the aesthetics of demos. The only positive things I have to say about this release have to do with its good looks. I have absolutely no idea what I just listened to. Weird squawks and smacks and bleep-bloops with whiny vocals and/or jazz horns delivered over top of it. It’s some form of avant-garde experimental art project stuff that I guess I just don’t get. The tape is long too, there’s eleven “songs” on it, and they’re not particularly short. I standardly make it a point not to write reviews during the first listen of a demo, but I don’t think I will be able to make it the full way through this tape a second time.

Max Nordile Go To Sleep, Fool cassette

Max is maybe the most prolific musician in the Bay Area right now, seemingly releasing something on cassette or vinyl almost monthly. On this release, Max augments found (?) sounds, field recordings, skronky gear, tape manipulations, broken shit, and saxophones, bending them to his will and creating a wall of cacophonous collapse. Max feels life, and you should feel it with him.