Today’s music is an absolute treat. We’re having a look at Inverted Pendulum by Comfort Zone, an experimental duo from Los Angeles that exclusively plays improvised music. Featuring percussion and a Chapman stick, Comfort Zone draw on a number of genres including jazz, post-rock, and noise. Given my recent bashing of the Chapman, these dudes have a lot to prove. Let’s see what they can do.
One of the major pitfalls of playing improvised music is that a performer can eventually begin to recycle old tricks, despite his best efforts. Comfort Zone manages to avoid that beautifully. Each track is its own entity that differs enough from the others to be distinctive yet never enough to lose sight of the album’s overall feel. Additionally, there’s a lot of restraint shown by both performers. They periodically demonstrate an ability to tear it up on their respective instruments yet they always manage to keep things relevant to the song. If a particular passage doesn’t call for an all out barrage of sound, you won’t hear it.
What impressed me most about Inverted Pendulum is that I actually enjoyed the passages played on the Chapman. In the past, I've bashed the instrument because all of the music I'd heard on it was most douchly. Comfort Zone manage to elevate the instrument to a new level and prove that it truly is capable of wonderful things. I've never been so happy to be proven wrong.
Jeff Higgins is the founder of Groove Sandwich. He doesn't often admit that hes wrong. Savor it.