This past Saturday, Rioux and Stephon Alexander celebrated the release of their collaborative album, Here Comes Now (Connect Records), at Baby’s All Right. The electronic jazz trio Archie Pelago opened for the headlining act. Each member stood on stage looping and live sampling individual melodies on their respective instruments; organic textures of upright bass and tenor saxophone were spit back out the monitors, as if of their own accord, cloaked in bubbling layers of lag and roiling distortion. Cellist-Abletonist Cosmo D. would rapp his knuckles (rapidly, no less) across the upper midsection of the belly to produce a wild contrapuntal drum pattern, and saxophonist Kroba spewed out fluttering atonal phrases that seemed to reverberate around the room for minutes on end. But all the spacious, avant-garde sensibilities ultimately reverted back to DJ Hirshi, who parried propulsive and undisciplined house beats over all the improvisatory interplay.
The Brooklyn-resident electronic artist Rioux and the astrophysicist-cum-jazz saxophonist Stephon Alexander met serendipitously in a coffee shop, and shortly after, as if if by divine or celestial intervention, they went on to make an album together. The record Here Comes Now was a strictly improvisational effort, as articulated by Alexander during the set. Rioux rotated between free-jazz musings on electric guitar, bass, vocals, and beat making duties, while Alexander took to the bongos, soprano sax, tenor sax, and spoken word. Closing with the hypnotic “Dance of the Illusion,” Stephon Alexander and Rioux led the band in body-moving, psychotropic jungle grooves.