8 NE Killingsworth
Stochastic Mettle Union
The music of critically acclaimed Portland Oregon band Stochastic Mettle Union local #35 has been described as psychedelic-jazz , minimalist and ambient at times, avant-garde, free, organic, melodic , and occasionally veering into noisier and outright wild musical territory . Birthed at the confluence of sonic curiosity and musical wanderlust , SMU are harmonic shepherds, allowing the music to go where it will , while not being constrained by conventional frameworks. Every SMU show is a completely new creation , a musical journey which starts with the need for exploration and ends with the satisfaction of discovery.
Toadstool was formed in April 2015 when Corvallis, OR percussionist Kevin Van Walk was seeking like-minded musicians to collaborate on post-jazz/free jazz approaches to musical improvisation and spontaneous composition. Inspired by noise, ambient, experimental and free jazz, Van Walk desired to blur the lines between acoustic and electronic musical application, recognizing the relation – however separated by time, genre and spiritual longing – of free jazz and experimental noise music; in short, Albert Ayler meets Stockhausen meets Merzbow. Van Walk placed a craigslist ‘seeking musicians’ ad and Portland saxophonist Nicklas Waroff answered the call. Within a week of the reply, Waroff appeared on Van Walk’s doorstep, saxophone case in hand, and within two hours the newly acquainted duo had recorded their first album ‘Meeting.’ One month passed and the duo again reconvened to record their second album, ‘Meeting 2.0.’ Both recordings are a merger of primarily acoustic but also electronic sound textures, no charts or pre-written music, an elixir of jazz and ambient improvisational exploration, less angry, screaming free jazz, and more atmospheric soundscapes akin to those found on an ECM record. However, the crazy noise and aforementioned “angry, screaming free jazz” is readily evident in the duo’s live appearances at the monthly “Experiments in Noise” series of showcases held in Corvallis and more recently at The Space in Salem. Toadstool has recently been joined by cellist/guitarist/vocalist Chris Rorrer who adds incendiary energy to the bands sonic foothold