"LILT" begins with funerary horns lurching over skittering snare shots. As this introduction foretells, "LILT" itself plays out as an exercise in extremes—juxtaposition, syncopation, and tension tremble across the turbulent surface of Mike Lockwood's new record on Driftless Recordings, BONEPOCKET. Described by the label as Lockwood's "debut instrumental album as a composer," the record also marks a stylistic departure for Driftless as the "first true Jazz release amongst many ambient / instrumental / experimental releases."
Rife with clamoring instrumentation and bombastic contrasts, "LILT" soundtracks a breaking of new ground, both in terms of Lockwood's personal progress as a composer and in purely sonic terms: "LILT" sounds like nothing else. Growing out of the quivering start, clarinets, saxophones, bass, and jazz guitar swell into focus, swirling into a disjunct latticework of competing sounds. As this assemblage reaches its sqeualing summit, it careens back down to its origin—its original sparsity—collapsing on its impressive yet unstable framework. In this fantastic reversal, Lockwood and his cohort settle back down into a lilt, the delightful horn threnody of the track's beginning. "LILT" reminds us that ecstasy is nice, but so is clarity, so is comfort.
BONEPOCKET, Mike Lockwood's debut on Driftless Recordings is out now. Stream the first track, "LILT," below.