Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Table of the Elements

Transmission is a heart-pounding artifact in the secret history of no wave and the rise of its bastard offspring, Swans. The duo of drummer Jonathan Kane and saxophone player Daniel Galliduani’s sole EP, recorded circa 1981 and previously available only as a cassette tape, roars to life with primal abandon, blending noise and African rhythms into a frenzy of apocalyptic world music.

Kane’s staccato hammering and Galliduani’s manic sax mantras in “Battlecry” and “Surrender” snake around each other in palpitating cement mixer rhythms. “South Wind” is the dirge of a freight train on fire, barreling down the tracks without a soul at the helm.

This unearthed EP is a missing link that languished in the cracks between jazz, improv. minimalism and outsider music for nearly 25 years before finding its way onto CD. In hindsight, that quarter century gap is a God damned shame.

Chad Radford

(Originally published by Resonance Magazine, issue no. 52).