Other Minds is pleased to present Inhale/Exhale, the debut recording from the New Mexican trio of Pulitzer Prize winning composer/guitarist Raven Chacon, percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, and bassist Carlos Santistevan.
In October of 2020, Baltimore’s High Zero festival asked curators around the country to assemble improvisers in their regions for a streaming edition of the festival. Santa Fe bassist Carlos Santistevan put together a group of New Mexico players featuring himself, Tatsuya Nakatani, and Raven Chacon. The performance marked their first encounter as a trio and took place in San Miguel Chapel—the oldest chapel in the United States.
That initial session was recorded and ready for release when the hard drive containing the files was stolen from Santistevan’s car before a proper backup could be made. The trio quickly made plans to hold another recording session at the San Miguel Chapel. Inhale/Exhale is the document of that session.
Nakatani’s frenetic percussion provides a foundation for the buzzsaw swarm of stringed instruments from Chacon and Santistevan. Throughout the two improvisations, beats and crashes map the space, the adobe walls offering a muted and earthen resonance. The trio’s unique sound is created by the performers’ experience in a myriad other fields: Chacon in metal and noise groups, Nakatani’s time playing avant-country with Eugene Chadbourne and in his Nakatani Gong Orchestra project, as well as Santistevan’s deep roots in the aesthetically untethered experimental music of Northern New Mexico. Inhale/Exhale is not only a compelling and engaging meeting of a trio of musicians in their prime, but a needed transmission from an often overlooked but vibrant part of the country.
I’m not sure if I keep coming back to “Inhale/Exhale” or if it keeps coming back to me. As much as I’ve done plenty of the former, playing and re-playing the tracks, even when I’m not listening to it I’ve found its overall aural texture hard to shake, much like Pigpen is constantly clouded by his aura of dirt. It’s also the sort of album that offsets by design whatever you listen to in its wake. Olivia Giovetti, Van Magazine, September 2022.
Chacon, Nakatani, and Santistevan have produced an organic and moving set that should be high on the list for anyone who appreciates unfettered musical spontaneity. Mike Borella, Avant Music News, June 2022
1 · Inhale (18:45)
2 · Exhale (20:25)