Blood Quartet “Deep Red” LP Edition of 500
Debut LP, following a cassette, by Mark Cunningham’s latest unit, Blood Quartet. Based in Barcelona, the mostly-instrumental band plays insanely great avant garde rock music, with Mark’s electro-Miles trumpet spread across the top like brass icing.
Cunningham has been based in Spain for many years now, and his groups there (Raeo, Bestia Ferida, etc.) have been excellent, but Blood Quartet seems like the apex of a musical quest he started with Don King, following the dissolution of his legendary NYC band, Mars. The music they play has a similar cinematic scope to the material Mark composed for his solo LP, Blood River Dusk (FTR 098). But where that album created an ominous soundtrack for living, Blood Quartet makes an explosive syncretic fusion. Angular no wave guitar lines weave through bass-heavy rhythms, and Mark’s trumpet achieves something akin to what Chet Baker might have done if he’d flipped out and gotten into the French acid scene in ’68. Light, strangely wound tones that really don’t sound like anyone else I can name.
Candid Coll’s post-tongue vocals, and the synth work by both Kike Bela and Lluis Rueda completely flesh everything out in a spectacular way. The music on Deep Red starts off sounding subtle, but it grows in power with every spin, and will eventually suck you down into its magnificent vortex.
-Byron Coley, 2016