KaiBorg “Vibrant Matters” Review, The New York City Jazz Record

From nycjazzrecord.com (Robert Bush, author), February 2018 Issue

“KaiBorg is the adventurous duo of electro-acoustic provocateurs Jeff Kaiser (quarter-tone trumpet, live computer processing) and David Borgo (soprano saxophone, various wind instruments and live computer processing.) This album was recorded live by Josef Kucera over a two-day period at the University of California at San Diego’s Studio A.

The album begins with a totally acoustic improvisation, “Instropomorphize”, an instant highlight veering from chirping soprano to sputtering trumpet. Absent any of the electronic distractions, one can really focus on the degree of exchange as each player wraps around the other like wrestling pythons.

The title track clocks in at more than 11 minutes and represents an epic struggle between extremes of white and pink noise and a guiding foghorn as a unifier. Tiny sounds of breath and the clicking of valves and keypads become monstrously distorted and amplified past the point of recognition. At some point, it could serve as the audio-file for an alien autopsy.

Long, warbled trumpet tones converge with swirling electronica and atonal saxophone bleats for “Deep-End-and See” while something that sounds like marbles on a model railroad track acts as a rhythm generator. All of a sudden a screeching sound evoking chimpanzees torturing a small rodent takes over, mercifully receding into the background of less evocative computer sounds. “Semioterial” is another opus featuring heavily processed soprano saxophone and layered echoes and it could be the ballad of the unnatural union between organic and inorganic beings conjured in the laboratory of an unhinged, demented scientist. The sonics get really violent on “N-Tangled”, with more wild sounds than one could reliably shake a stick at. At one point the image of a robot forcing a Theremin into a sausage maker came into focus.

Another highlight moment comes on the penultimate track, “Undercurrents and Overtones”, a solo acoustic feature from Borgo, playing a futujara (Slovakian overtone flute) in a highly expressive and creative manner, transcending the ostensible limitations of the instrument to create something beautiful in the moment.”