In 2010, the musical project known as Ahleuchatistas (AH – LOO – CHA – TEES – TAS) began performing new music for guitar & drums duet. Shane Perlowin plays guitar and Ryan Oslance plays drums. This arrangement of the band officially premiered at the 2010 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee on March 28th and was followed by 23 concerts in Europe from March 31st to April 25th. They also played Wire Magazine’s Adventures in Modern Music Festival in Chicago in September 2010, a handful of US dates in the fall, and they performed 20 concerts in Europe in December 2010.
Since its inception, the music of Ahleuchatistas has always been difficult to pin down with words. Perlowin founded the project in 2002 with roots in progressive rock, punk, and free jazz, forging an intense sound and a unique combination of composition and improvisation. They released eight albums as a trio, two appearing on the progressive label Cuneiform Records and two on John Zorn’s venerable Tzadik Records.
Ahleuchatistas built a devoted cult following through its records and unforgettable live performances, and received critical acclaim and interest from a great number of publications, radio stations, and websites.
The current sound has broadened the band’s palette with elements of noise, African music, ambient/drone, Chinese traditional music, minimalism, classical music, and electronica. It blends block-form, thru-composition, and improvisational musical strategies. Perlowin and Oslance have a unique psychic interplay that can be incredibly elastic or razor-sharp tight. Ominous walls of sound morph into tight-knight rhythmic figures, haunting melodies float over martial drumming, roaring moments of sustained tension acquiesce into screaming silence, a musical promise is fulfilled. On the earliest recordings an interest in pure sound and texture can be heard on select cuts. This tendency became more prevalent with each successive album. The new music continues to push in this direction, still with the characteristic rhythmic intensity. Rock and roll!
“There’s noise and fire in their playing, but most of these tunes are also studded with signposts, demanding close attention and clear execution.” The New York Times “It’s the kind of musical tug-of-war that sounds as jagged as it is graceful…” National Public Radio
“It’s a world away from the all or nothing monochrome of lesser acts.”
The Wire: Adventures in Modern Music
“Music does not get much closer to the edge than this…”