Gulls: FREEer
Sonic Lozenge

Gulls is the brainchild of Jesse Munro Johnson, otherwise known as trumpeter in the Portland outfit Evolutionary Jass Band (he's also involved in Owl Dudes, Die Bomb Shelters, and Modernstate). On the 12-inch release's seventeen-minute title track, Johnson's trumpet and electronics receive support from percussionists Mike McKinnon and Sam Schauer and bassist Scott Blais while the fourteen-minute B side “FREEer (than richer)” is a reconfiguring by Sonic Lozenge curator Michael Bruce. Recorded live, “FREEer” breathes raw improvisatory fire with Johnson's multi-limbed horn phantasm carving an unpredictable path through a dense undergrowth of cymbals, percussion, bass, trumpet delays, and electronics. In the “re-telling,” Bruce uses analog drum machines, synths, and assorted effects to twist the material into entirely new shape. Slowed to a dirge tempo, the piece initially flirts with entropy, its horns moaning in anguish over collapsing rhythms, before a viral dancehall groove picks it up and moves it along. Trumpet choirs and analog synths wreak havoc during the second half until the pulse slackens and the piece vanishes, leaving only a skeletal corpse behind as evidence.

June 2008