We sporadically repeat the word, Adam Cox, Noah Eikhoff, Dave Vaughn and I, sharing strong coffee on a chilly Sunday morning, piecing together the shapeless and netting the nebulous – Wasabi Dream just doesn’t work like most bands. They work, somewhat intensely… and yet still loosely. They dig deep into a sound, getting into a trance-like jam, and never worry over digging too deeply… But let’s start back up at the surface.
First: Cox (of the Octopus, and way back when: Dead Bodies), who helps operate/engineer the Russell Industrial Center recording studio known as the Brooksfield Gentlemen’s Club, woke up one morning having just had the weirdest “dream.” Soon after that, he started jamming with Eikhoff (of many bands past and present, among them: Croff Family Band).
Second: Cox bought a vibraphone. He just had to put this thing to use. He and Eikhoff started initial jams.
Third: Bring in drummer Dave Vaughn and you have this band called: Wasabi Dream.
Initially, Vaughn says, there was a lot of talk (between jamming) of trying to make something as off-the-wall as possible. No limits, really. “Let everything come, as it developed,” Eikhoff says.
Fourth: Why not attempt inviting more people in, try to add three more people to the group and attempt something awesome and ostentatious: dueling trios! Two drummers, two vibraphones, two bass guitars – facing off, together, musically mashing it up at once.
Fifth: They, not surprisingly, found that to be overly complicated. But more so, no one fit so securely into the groove, or could flow with the chemistry, that they’d already established.
Sixth: Their debut album is done, mastered to vinyl and ready to be released (May 31st @ Trinosophes).
“It took us a while to get comfortable trying to be uncomfortable,” Eikhoff remembers. “We were playing in 5/4 time and once we got comfy there we’d switch it to 6/4 time, then 7/4 time, and then even 7/8 time.”
All the elastic jams (and we’re talking mesmeric droney free-jazz blended into busily rhythmic post-rock by-way-of a primal yet spaced-out/futuristic Krautrock clatter…) …these somewhat-set-songs, transformed, Vaughn says, during the recording sessions. Reference points could be Tortoise, or Can or even Ornette Coleman…(Maybe even some Miles, Coltrane and still yet more! Ever transforming. Ever loose).
Eikhoff considers (Wasabi Dream) to be the “most rewarding experience, band-wise, that I’ve been in. Just, the time we put into it together, two full years now, and not getting sick of each other. And this laid back vibe throughout, with each of us just trying to get better at what we’re doing.”
Some songs, says Cox, are different every time they’re played or performed. One song has never actually, technically, been rehearsed. It was just captured, live, in that moment.
It’ll be interesting, he says, to see how these songs play out on the live stage.
Keep it loose.
Meanwhile, the trio is writing (or experimenting upon) new material for a follow-up.
The proper introduction to Wasabi Dream comes May 31st at Trinosophes -with the “return” of Wildcatting (otherwise known as the instrumental section of Bars of Gold) and a debut performance for Violets (featuring former members of defunct folk-pop outfit Legendary Creatures).