Soundcheck: Throttle Elevator Music - Final Floor

The Wire

Monday, March 1, 2021

  • The cover of the album "Final Floor" by Throttle Elevator Music Featuring Kamasi Washington
  • Scan of the review in The Wire magazine of Throttle Elevator Music's "Final Floor"

    Throttle Elevator Music was a post-Bill Laswell studio project led by producer Gregory Howe and multi-instrumentalist Matt Montgomery, with a rotating cast of players. The star of the show, though, was always saxophonist Kamasi Washington, who played on all seven TEM releases.

    Final Floor brings the project to a close, gathering outtakes and alternate versions from sessions called between 2011-14. On many pieces, Kamasi Washington is joined by trumpeter Erik Jekabson -their voices blend in close harmony, with a soft cloud of reverb cushioning everything, dubby production techniques and crunching guitar adding to the swirl, and two drummers keeping the beat somewhere between a shuffle and an explosion. The compositions owe more to rock and funk- and sometimes hardcore punk- than jazz, and while individual pieces may not be instantly memorable, their overall sound is all their own.