Josh Berman // Eli Wallace // Ishmael Ali // Bill Harris

After convening for a recording session at Marmalade Studios in Chicago, IL, in 2021, the improvising quartet of Josh Berman, Eli Wallace, Ishmael Ali, and Bill Harris continue to hone their collective sonic identity through regular live concerts in Chicago. As documented on their first cassette release, An Ill-Fitting Garment, the group focuses on acoustic interplay, resulting in music featuring acousmatic moments that obfuscate who makes which sound, blurring and bending rhythms and pitches into a syncretic whole. Wallace’s ability to cull variegated sounds from the prepared piano matches Harris’s percussive textures and unique rhythmic sensibility. Berman and Ali find common ground in pitched and harmonic material that can sometimes disperse into territories resembling synth and electronic sounds. All four musicians trade roles during their musical interactions, sometimes falling into the background while interjecting with aberrant melodic statements at other times. The group strives to create a unified heuristic sound that simultaneously features each individual while constantly generating a sense of rhythmic propulsion, at times subtle, at times bombastic.