Travis Laplante woke up one day with a vision for a band of four saxophonists. But instead of dismissing it as a very bad idea (as most people would have done), he decided to make the noise in his head real.
Palace Of Wind is the opposite of those soft rock sax licks that keep popping up on indie rock records these days. The results are often closer to noise than conventional music, but those moments of intensity are perfect counterparts to the gently droning meditative sections.
Rather than playing solos against each other, Laplante executes intricately layered and rhythmically complex interlocking parts that make the four saxes seem like a single powerful instrument. The circular breathing techniques and lightning-fast arpeggios are reminiscent of Colin Stetson, particularly the way he fuses free jazz's extended techniques with black metal attitude and contemporary classical exploration. But the four layers of tenor sax blending into each other make the overall results quite distinct, and occasionally exhilaratingly terrifying.
Top track: Palace Of Wind II
Battle Trance play Array Space Friday (September 5).