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PREMIERE: Experimental Trio Think Tank's 'Lid' Is a Genre-Hopping Free-Form Odyssey

Their trio's latest endeavor is an improvised, multi-genre audio/visual jam that combines 16mm film with 21 minutes of drone, noise, ambient, hardcore, and saxophone.

by Kim Kelly
Jul 1 2016, 6:07pm

Brooklyn trio Think Tank take the "experimental" part of their description seriously, as their last album, Servants, Animals, or Anything Else, made clear. Now, they're pushing the envelope even further with an ambitious, unique new piece, to be released by Head vs. Heart.

Their latest endeavor is Lid, an entirely improvised, multi-genre audio/visual odyssey that combines 16mm film with a 21-minute free-form jam incorporating cello, saxophone, guitars, drums, and vocals. The music flows from sleepy ambient drone into spacey free jazz, lonesome ambient, undulating post-rock, squealing noise, and a murderous cacophony that sees vocalist Josie Sedgwick shudder and howl over skronking, bass-heavy hardcore. It's a trip, and one not undertaken by the faint of heart.

We've got all 20-odd minutes of "Lid" on offer for you below; dive in.



The band also sent us a statemernt explaining what the hell is going on here.

"Lid needed to be created for our own sanity. Coming off a summer of rigid composition and performance without a real sense of how to let the music go, ​we started writing nothing and tearing down anything close to a formation of an idea. If you feel locked in, you pull away. Without structure ​we found room for more landscaped textures, focusing more on mood than articulate instrumentation. This opened up avenues of exploration to find new ways to work the sound out of the old tools. With this came the desire for more sounds and so we picked up other instruments.

This is where ​our newest addition, Josie,​ enters. With little conversation she jumped in, and over the course of two weeks, we got out whatever nihilistic flailing we had left; preparation. Then we discussed a flow of moods and concepts, haphazardly scribbling them down, connecting them with arrows and placing what he had in the center of the room for us all to see. It was a map. We followed it, we got lost, found ourselves, and did it all over again. Lid is this exploration—instead of writing melodies and harmonies, we wrote destinations, and searched for the music between them. We embraced discovery.

In the heart of winter, 2016, we wrote-recorded-released-performed what is known as lid-0. We immediately moved on from the piece. But when Head vs. Heart approached us about being a part of a video series for their label, this gave us the opportunity to expand further. We've always desired a visual element, and with J's experience with film, a new style of improvisation opened up to us."