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Forenzics / Press

“…Malign is a beautifully coherent album, its eight tracks sensitively paced and remarkably consistent in some structural respects, while the musicians play skilfully with the resources available to them within the frame. The electronics give a splendid weight and orchestral resource to what otherwise might be a somewhat transparent ensemble, yet the sound has been recorded and mixed very well to retain a very satisfying clarity. John Wilton’s drumming (here using a standard kit, nothing too exotic) is elegant and original, full of subtlety that is especially valuable in some of the more abstract moments, such as the quiet clatter of rims and wood on the opening track a dusk service/sun checks or the brilliantly skittering acid nekk.”

“Malign is an album of intelligent, stylish music, and Forenzics are certainly a group to keep an ear out for in the future.”

“But I am here to tell you that completely “spontaneous”music is well and truly alive and Sydney’s Forenzics are living dynamic proof!”

“The garbled numbness of "Hyponagogic" and the disquieting emptiness of "New Ambient Dark Matter" close this convincing release by this Australian fourtet, who includes Supersilent, John Hassell, early Sonic Youth, Necks - their brilliant compatriots -, Tortoise, Demlike Stare and two masterpieces by Miles Davis ("Bitches Brew" and "In A Silent Way") as possible musical references.”

“Experimental music is not supposed to affect one this deeply. But it does. In fact all of Malign does. Yes, like all good modern art it asks to be listened to on its own terms. Yet it does not push away but creates a place for the listener to go and to explore as it happens. Unlike too much ‘experimental’ music, it includes; it does not exclude.”

“Sydney group Forenzics is a four piece improvising collective who make music that is full of heart and beauty – contradicting the charge that experimental music is cold, cerebral and can only be appreciated on a mathematical level. The fact that it is improvised puts it theoretically in the jazz camp, and the four – founding guitarists Matthew Syres and Dirk Kruithof, drummer John Wilton and trumpeter Joe Cummins – play telepathically together like a great be-bop band or, more accurately, like a smoking’ free jazz combo. They listen to and feed off each other, growing the music in intensity and trajectory as they go. But that is as close to jazz as it gets…. It is completely improvised in the studio, with no overdubs, edits or preconceptions…. It could be a bloody mess. But of course it is not – Malign is beautiful.”

“Based around the idea of improvisation, the band may occasionally be bewildering in its free-form mixture of jazz, electronica and post-rock. But the moments of beauty among the chaos shine all the more brightly for existing in the wild, ever-shifting aural landscape.”

“The mood then turned to a dark and sinister atmosphere as the smoke machines got going and FORENZICS came on. They appeared entirely improvised and there was great chemistry between the four players as each instinctively knew where the music was going. The build-ups were slow with the gradual incorporation of more elements to the minimalist soundscape. The addition of the trumpet transported you to the back room of some jazz bar.”

“...The decidedly urban, dystopian sounds of electricity flow through the sounds, but they are recorded with a widescreen clarity that allows every guitar nuance, every effect groan, every swish of static, its own clear place in the mix....”

“Forenzics have been around since 2005 but I hadn’t heard them play. With Matthew Syres on guitar and way too many effects pedals, Dirk Kruithof on lead guitar, Joe Cummins on trumpet and Kaos pad and Alex Slater on drums they play loose yet utterly cohesive improv inflected with jazz, rock, drone and psychedelia. Joe Cummin’s trumpet loops and soaring melodies are a particular highlight creating a smoky, sensual atmosphere and the rhythmic interplay, pushing against the metre with loping rubatos, gives the sound an intriguing elasticity. It occurred to me that music is best when it picks you up and takes you somewhere you didn’t know you wanted to go, and Forenzics did just that.”

“...The results are a seamless group effect with all four participants blending their egos and sounds. What is even better is that, in spite of the completely improvised nature of the album and the amount of noise that is mustered up in sections, there are swathes of space for each to enact their contributions. The results are excellent.... ”

“...Musically, there is a wonderful restraint...The 10 minutes of ‘Noise Avoider’ pretty much does that. There is lots of noise, but bits at a time, so Cummins’ lamenting trumpet is a clarion over the low-lying fizz, the other three threatening but never succumbing to the urge to simply vent. The tension built is wonderful. ‘Dub Scab’ flays delaying guitar stabs and backwards guitar licks over abstract drum machine hits and head nodding sine bass. ‘Motor Systemz Collisions’ runs a series of disjointed Krautrock drum machine rhythms underneath burbling lo-end synth distortion and traumatic builds of discordant guitar texture... I’m guessing that ‘Nightmare Nurse (1973) Ma Rpt’ is built over shards of soundtrack to an obscure D-grade 70s horror film, the lo-fi strings and the odd scream a foundation for more beautiful trumpet and abstract guitar. It’s mood is the most disturbing on the album and the overdriven voice samples are the closest the quartet get to utilisin”

“...Headlining with trumpet was Forenzics; precision drumming and two guitars, one mostly played with a metal bus sign, the other saturated with effects. This four-piece was something beyond soundscape and more in the direction of early Mogwai baiting Oren Ambarchi and Battles. One could almost sense John Zorn astral-travelling around this show, with a broad but crooked metaphysical smile.”

“Forenzics opened with a solid half hour of ambience and noise, which surprisingly, was not abrasive. Chameleonic drummer Evan McGregor (of Squat Club/Captains/Shirlow fame) complemented his bandmates excellently with strong dynamics and enough randomness to live up John Cage’s expectation.”

Music Feeds

“Forenzics appeals to…one familiar to the art rock world…rebelling against the structured codes their chosen instruments lend, yet…revelling in their wielding. Providing powerful new landscapes of sound, abstracted estranged music that is…growing fonder in the ear of this ‘noise’ avoider.”