A rare performance at a rare venue (for live musical performances at least) by a rare act, The Oak Cliff Cultural Center will host the improvisational outfit Nmperign on Friday. For the average music listener, it can be unclear what determines an outright star or big name in the shadowy world of noise and improv, but Nmperign is about as close as you’re going to get, along with Norway’s Supersilent, Japan’s Merzbow, or the occasional daring SYR recording that smuggles its way into Best Buy.
However, the last time Nmperign was in Texas was about ten years ago, when they performed as a duo with a core featuring Bhob Rainey and Greg Kelley on soprano saxophone and trumpet respectively. This time they are joined by tape manipulator Jason Lescalleet, who has performed with the duo since 1999.
Rainey and Kelley began to make a name for themselves outside of avant circles by performing with Damon And Naomi, the far more accessible duo that evolved out of the much beloved 80’s dream pop act Galaxie 500. They increased their notoriety with the epic two disc collection, Love Me Two Times, which is an excellent entry point into this style of music since the record not only contains a pleasantly diverse collection of the more textured and unaggressive side of improv, but it also features the aforementioned Lescalleet with manipulated analog contributions.
Open-minded and willing audiences should try to make it out to the event. This is the only the second time I’ve written up a show at the Cultural Center since the beginning of the year; the first being The Suite Unraveling appearance, which was put on by Aaron Gonzalez’s Inner Realms Outer Realms productions this past January. Gonzalez again had a hand in helping with this event, however a lot of credit is due to local writer and experimental music expert Lee Jackson who originally tipped me off. Jackson writes for his own site, Womblife, as well as fringe art chroniclers, Foxy Digitalis. Jackson said he was also helped by Houston’s Dave Dove, founder of Nameless Sound. Nameless Sound is an anomaly in the often selfish world of music; this especially altruistic organization has not only brought a vast array of respectable artists to Texas who might not be here otherwise, but has also held music classes for autistic children, refugees, and held workshops for the homeless. Texas is lucky to have both Dove and Jackson looking out for the artistic health and sophistication of their state.