PALE HORSE

       Christopher Hoffman (cello)            Brian Chase (drums)              Jeremiah Cymerman (clarinet)

       Christopher Hoffman (cello)            Brian Chase (drums)              Jeremiah Cymerman (clarinet)

“Badlands” is the second full length album by composer Jeremiah Cymerman’s apocalyptic chamber ensemble, Pale Horse. Recorded in February 2015, “Badlands”, picks up where their self-titled 2014 debut left off, with emphasis on dark ambient soundscapes built by the acoustic trio of clarinet, cello and drums. Over the course of two long form compositions, the trio move meticulously through a series of barren lands, populated by lone drifters with nothing to lose and howling winds and far away cries. Inspired equally by the work of composers Scelsi & Ligeti, the novels of Cormac McCarthy, the films of Wim Wenders and the hypnotic brutality of Swans, “Badlands” presents a dark vision of the west, a sound world that is the perfect accompaniment to hopeless nights and anxiety dreams.

The strongest aspect of this album is that Cymerman, Hoffman and Chase manage to create a universe, that - although desolate and built up around a monotonal core - is at the same time full of surprises, of little things happening under the surface, of shifts of focus between instruments, of sudden changes that remain unexpected, yet without altering the overall line of sound, keeping things tightly under control and coherent, while at the same time really driving something deep into the listener’s being. And it’s really the latter that counts. Deep into the listener’s being.
— Stef Gijsells, the Free Jazz Blog