About month or two ago, I randomly stumbled across an upcoming show date that caught my eye immediately. The event was title “Qui w/ Trevor Dunn” and it was scheduled to take place at the Funhouse here in Seattle, a tiny little venue that has a capacity of only around 200. I’ve had a healthy respect for the experimental Los Angeles duo, Qui for some time — David Yow (Scratch Acid, The Jesus Lizard) was even an official member of the group for a little while — but only possess a peripheral awareness of their material, at best. What really grabbed my attention, however, was the fact that they would be sharing the stage with Trevor Dunn, someone who only seems to improve anything that he touches. Dunn might be best known as the founding bassist for Mr Bungle, or, perhaps, for his role in the supergroup, Fantômas alongside Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr Bungle), King Buzzo (Melvins), and ex-Slayer drummer, Dave Lombardo, but the amount of projects that he’s been connected to is as impressive as it is vast. Along with his own avant-jazz outfit, Trio-Convulsant and his brief stint in Secret Chiefs 3 (originally formed with Bungle bandmates Trey Spruance and Danny Heifetz), Trevor has appeared on a half-dozen releases by cellist, Erik Friedlander, and on more than 4 times as many by legendary avant-garde, experimental jazz composer/genre hopping multi-instrumentalist John Zorn. I’ve seen Dunn perform as a member of Melvins,; as well as with Patton, Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard, The Unsemble), and John Stanier (Helmet, Battles) in Tomahawk; a group that he joined to fill the empty bass slot — original bassist, Kevin Rutmanis (also, former-Melvins) had long departed, leaving Denison to pull double duty on guitar and bass for their previous release. Also among this never ending list of collaborations, Trevor remains a touring member of The Nels Cline Singers, who he’s recorded with, and he even appeared as part of Sean Lennon’s band during a Letterman performance — he was asked to tour with them further, but his schedule wouldn’t allow it.
Seeing as Trevor Dunn appears to be the go-to for a temporary, fill-in, touring, and/or replacement bassist, it was difficult to speculate on how much of a collaboration this would actually be with Qui. Come to think of it, I believe that I actually might have assumed that Dunn would be opening for them when I saw the concert ad. Today things become much clearer with the announcement that Joyful Noise Recordings is actually releasing a full on collaboration album between the respective artists. Here’s a brief description of the project via the label
“Idiosyncratic punk/noise duo Qui have always had an avant-garde slant to their music, but this collaboration with Trevor Dunn has brought their arty weirdness to the forefront. In case you are unaware, Trevor Dunn is a bonafide legend with a ridiculous repertoire (Mr. Bungle, Melvins Lite, Fantomas, John Zorn, etc.). In joining with drummer/vocalist Paul Christensen and guitarist/vocalist Matt Cronk of Qui, these three weirdos have made one of the most wonderfully perplexing art/metal/punk/orchestral hybrids we have ever seen.“
The LP will be available in both digital and on limited edition purple vinyl, the latter of which has a run of only 500 copies. Both formats can be ordered now, through HERE.
For those that would like a little taste of what to expect, our first sample comes in the form of a cover of Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band‘s “Ashtray Heart,” which originally appeared on the group’s 1980 album, Doc At The Radar Station. And while that may indeed seem like a bold move for many, if there’s any project to take on and meet the challenge, this is definitely the one. Plus, the word is that this track also features contributions from King Buzzo and Kevin Rutmanis. Not bad. Check it out below.