Kayo Dot thrives at extremes. On its Tzadik debut, 2003's Choir of the Eye, the act creates exhaustive, dynamic backdrops in which dense layers of distortion descend into exquisite, wistful excursions, like chaos dissolving into serenity -- or something akin to dropping acid in a tunnel with Marshall stacks blaring around you, then strolling into a tranquil, sunlit meadow. Before heading into the studio to record the next Kayo Dot album, guitarist/vocalist Toby Driver and violinist Mia Matsumiya are touring as Tartar Lamb to perform Driver's violin-and-electric-guitar duet, 60 Metonymies, which was inspired by modern composers Morton Feldman (a contemporary of John Cage) and Olivier Messiaen. This time around, the duo, along with trumpeter Tim Byrnes and drummer Andrew Greenwald of the avant-rock band Friendly Bears, might be tapping into their gentler side, but the intensity should still be intact.
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