Made in China
Made in China got its name because the band was in fact made in China. Originally organized by a friend to tour China as a Quartet that included upright bass, the band found itself with visas in hand but no bass player. They were unsure how people would respond to a bass-less band but removing the core frequencies they had come to rely on gave them a wonderful challenge, it allowed for more space to exist and the trio adjusted to the setting without dropping a beat.
The recording date for Transmissions can best be described as a 'drive thru' session. Even though the band hadn't played in several years they picked up where they left off, devising a program of mostly original music and several covers. Blake's tunes include the head-slamming title track, a tribute to the great Ornette Coleman and a free-jazz Calypso inspired by the previous mentioned icon. Blaser's compositions are a stark contrast, offering up both a bluesy tribute to a good friend and a melodic tongue twister called Mouse. The trio charms the listener by performing both of the cover songs, including a tender rendition of Louis Moholo's You Ain't Gonna Know Me 'Cos You Think You Know Me and the rarely heard Jamaican ska tune You Don't Know with an abiding reverence that captures every bit of the stubbornness that their titles suggest. The engineer and producer Scotty Hard brings a wealth of experience to this spontaneous recording session that is stunning in its genre-busting variety. He mixed Transmissions live to 2-track and what you hear are almost entirely 1st takes.
For most everyone 'Made in China' is a label synonymous with anything that is manufactured for the masses in a far away place by legions of masked laborers slaving away in factories. However, Made in China will transport you to an idea of a different China; one where throngs of young people in cities like Shenzhen applaud, shout and whistle with excitement for the unpredictable sounds of improvised music.
Bookbird GbR, www.kato-bookbird.com