Kid Millions & Sarah Bernstein


Another gem in the ever-expanding stable of NY’s Island House Records. This time the label offers up a live recording of Kid Millions (Oneida, Man Forever) and Sarah Bernstein (VEER Quartet, Exolinger). The pair have been collaborating for a few years now and convened for this performance as part of a series that Colpitts (aka Millions) booked at the Forest Park Bandshell near his home. The set captures the pair’s storm in a bottle, something that’s not an easy feat. Both performers play with an ecstatic, free style that fills every atom in the room with palpable tension.

Colpitts’ drums seethe and roil, pushing at the membranes of the mind. The players don’t spar so much as feed the same fire. Bernstein’s strings wail and growl. On “Mirage” the pair eye each other with prickling tension. Sarah adds incantations to the piece, first in a sort of disconnected threat, but later with increasing alarm that builds to panic. The piece plays out like a slow motion anxiety attack that explodes and collapses by its culmination. “Pellucid” introduces a film of feedback to Sarah’s playing, incorporating an electronic edge and pushing the piece closer to some of the bastions of noise more often associated with Colpitts. The song is slightly less tumultuous than the first, but by no means calm. It retains the duo’s ferocity, but this time they seem to be in concert, rather than in competition for the heart of the storm. Urging the listener towards the darkness at the end of the tunnel, the song is threaded with horror and hurt.

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