steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Greg Kelley

"Self-Hate Index" CD

Semata Productions

Genre: experimental, noise, free improv

Massachusetts, USA

June 3, 2009

With only a trumpet at his disposal, Kelley has created one of the most interesting and intoxicating experimental releases I've come across lately. A far cry from Wynton Marsalis, or even Lester Bowie, Kelley has an incredibly unique approach to his instrument; in fact, one could listen to most of this record without even realizing a trumpet was involved.

Relying largely on crackling grumble of pursed lips spattering into the mouthpiece, Self-Hate Index has more in common with noise than jazz. As a result, a composition like "Shearing Husks" is disarming and even overwhelming at times, decisively inaccessible yet frantically engaging. Although the trumpet is instrumental to the album (pun atrociously and profusely intended), the music distances itself from its vessel instead turning out as highly abstract free noise. While at first I was put off by the foreignness of the sound (just as I still don't quite get C. Spencer Yeh's Nothin' But a Heartache), it certainly grew on me in the end, the fact that this was all produced through a trumpet is impressive alone, but the full-on atmospheres that Kelley creates are what truly makes Self-Hate Index an impressive and powerful performance.

greg kelley's website


youuuuuuuutube!: greg kelley live at no idea fest

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 7 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2008]