Bobby Previte Gets Medieval with the Classical-Meets-Metal Drone of 'MASS'

Stephen O'Malley, Don McGreevy, and others join in on this uplifting, experimental combination of early music, drone, and doom.

by Kim Kelly
07 November 2016, 9:06am

As far as my own tastes are concerned, so-called "experimental music" is an extremely hit-or-miss entity that usually ends up as a decided 'miss.' That makes those rare occasions in which it actually grabs me all the more special, as I found when I pressed play on Bobby Previte's new project, Mass. The effort combines early music with droning, spaced-out doom, and the end result is surprisingly, wondrously addictive. I listened to it three times in a row without even noticing yesterday, then once I snapped out of my trance, put it on again.

Drummer, composer, and serial collaborator Bobby Previte made his bones playing with an astonishing array of NYC's finest jazz and experimental musicians (including John Zorn), and has a cumulative resume as long as your arm. The musicians he chose to work with him on the Mass project (which has been 12 years in the making!) include Stephen O'Malley, Jamie Saft, Marco Benevento, Reed Mathis, Don McGreevy, and Mike Gamble—all titans in their respective fields, especially amplifier worshippers SUNN 0)))'s O'Malley, and McGreevy of drone gods Earth, whose subsonic tones undoubtedly added to the "metal" part of the endeavour.

Mass is built upon a re-arrangement of the Missa Sancti Jacobi by medieval composer Guillaume Dufay, with pipe organ music inspired by early 20th century composer Olivier Messiaen.The whole thing is a joy to listen to, and manages to incorporate chiming early classical music and angelic choral vocals with drone, doom, noise, and unexpected moments of groovy psychedelic rock 'n' roll (Previte couldn't resist letting loose on the kit now and then)​.

It's like nothing you've heard before, and is out November 18 via RareNoise Records. Preorders​ are live now; listen below:

​Kim Kelly is getting her kyrie on on Twitter​..

John Zorn
medieval music
bobby previte