Andrew Bernstein is a name we did not know until a few short months ago, and is now a name we have a slim chance of ever forgetting.
The source of this unforgettable feeling is “Cult Appeal,” a recently released collection of extraordinary sound experiments from the ever-reliable Hausu Mountain label. Nominally, “Cult Appeal” is the recorded sound of Andrew Bernstein playing the saxophone through an assortment of effects, processors, and an otherwise indiscernible variety of sonic alchemy. The effect, however, is something far, far beyond this meager description, ultimately residing in an arena that exists far, far beyond words.
“New York’s alright if you like saxophones” declared an ancient mystic, seemingly unconcerned with the out-out-way-out contributions of people like Steve Mackay and Nik Turner, not to mention Albert Ayler. And if it helps to contextualize the radical appeal of “Cult Appeal,” please feel free to lump Mr. Bernstein in with such heady company.
However, for these ears, the music of Andrew Bernstein on “Cult Appeal” has come to represent something immeasurably broader in scope. Andrew Bernstein reminds us of the ability of music to inspire, to confound, to outpace obstacles and break down barriers. These are all different ways of saying the Andrew Bernstein’s music has blown our mind in an inspiring, indelible way. Spirits rejoice, indeed. Highest possible recommendation.
You can “name your price” on Andrew Bernstein’s “Cult Appeal” at the Hausu Mountain Bandcamp page. We feel you’d be silly not to.
“The whole point here is to destroy impure perception. So what do we mean by impure perception? Impure perception is basically everything that we see, perceive, and label at the moment. It is not that something is wrong out there and that’s why everything is impure. Instead, it is because, at the moment, whenever we perceive something, it is always filtered through our emotions, our desire, jealousy, pride, ignorance, and aggression. When we look at a person, we may see him or her through the filter of our passion, and will therefore see him or her as very desirable. We may look at another person through the lens of aggression, which will cause us to see him or her as very ugly and hideous. When perceiving others through our own insecurity, we make judgements, refer, and compare, and end up trying to defend or boost our pride, which all stems from ignorance. The list goes on and on. All the different perceptions we have arise from our very own minds and are coming through these emotions. That is why everything we experience ends up being a disappointment. Regardless of whether it is felt in a big or a small way, the point is that there is always a little bit of disappointment. This is what we are trying to purify.” – Cortland Dahl