"A power duo"
- The Seattle Stranger
"Yeah Yeah Yeahs Drummer + Avant Pianist
= Brain-Melting 'Dub Narcotic Session'"
- Brad Cohan, Spin Magazine
"Best piano-drums duo I've seen/heard in years!"
- Tom Orange, WCSB
"A wickedly percussive combination"
- David E. Hintz DC Rock Live
Dub Narcotic Session out now on
New Atlantis Records!
Thollem and Brian first met in New York City during the summer of
2012, performing as a trio with bassist James Ilgenfritz. The following
year saw the release of ‘The Whistling Joy Jumpers’, a collaboration
between Thollem, Brian, and the legendary Jad Fair (of Half Japanese)
on Thick Syrup Records.
Brian Chase is a drummer and composer living in Brooklyn, NY.
Though he works in a variety of contexts, he is probably best known
as a member of the group Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a band that has toured
extensively throughout the world and has been nominated for three
Grammys. On the new music side, Brian is very active in the
experimental music scene, largely based around the community of
John Zorn's club, The Stone; in this setting, performance collaborations
have included those with Alan Licht, Chris Cochrane, Andrea Parkins,
Anthony Coleman, and Jeremiah Cymerman, amongst many more.
Brian also dedicates much time to his solo project, Drums and Drones;
an album of this material was released in 2013 on the Pogus label and
features 'moving paintings' by video artists Ursula Scherrer and Erik Zajaceskowski. Away from the drums Brian is a regular practitioner
of Ashtanga yoga.
Thollem/Chase is the powerhouse, free-wheeling duo of the perpetually-traveling pianist Thollem McDonas and drummer Brian Chase. Brian is probably best known for his work with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but is an active member of NYC's downtown scene and a regular improvising fixture at the Stone. This record is a ripper- cued by the energy and spirit of punk rock with the tones of vintage free jazz... The record is called Dub Narcotic Session, and fittingly, was tracked at K Records' legendary studio!
‘Mind Control Free For All’ is charged with a kinetic punk undercurrent, blossoming into swaths of explosive energy. The lyrical ‘Where We
Come From’ evokes the modal excursions of Sonny Sharrock and Alice
Coltrane, underpinning a reverence for tonality and the blues with an
expertly shifting rhythmic foundation. By contrast, ‘Dis-Mis-Education’
erupts with scatter-shot, stagger-stepped free improvisation from the
outset, unfaltering through the track’s close.
Thollem has been excavating depths of sound and energy for 48 years. After dedicating his 20s and 30s to grassroots political activism, he's refocused his attention these last 10 years on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities. In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 40 albums in that span on 19 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim. “Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument” (Terry Riley) and who continues to delve into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of Post-Classical, Free Jazz, Noise, Punk, dance and film. A brief cross section of his many recent collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Stefano Scodanibbio, Mike Watt, Martha Colburn and Matthew Barney. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as the lead singer of the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti. He's also a published author about music, art and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague)
and First American Art Magazine (New Mexico)