by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
A good drummer is hard to find and yet having a good drummer is more often than not a key to having a good band. Staten Island's AJ Pantaleo is a good drummer, holding down two of Brooklyn's finest, Bueno and Baked, with hard hitting rhythmic grooves both tight and frantic. In addition to his current bands, Pantaleo has been known to do session work and in 2015 he's begun releasing his first batch of solo recordings that sit between ambient punk and experimental drone. Following a month on the road with Baked, November saw the release of Walkabout, a wistful EP of noise and stop-start beats that range from pummeling to hypnotic. The EP was improvised separately as a trio, with each member writing and recording their contributions without knowledge of what the other members were writing. The results of the trio's work was mixed together and in the end, well... it's not too shabby.
Wasting little time, Pantaleo returns with a new single, "Hội An," a grinding industrial influenced drone song that moves with monolithic intensity as Pantaleo is joined by Bueno's Mike DiBenedetto (who also played on Walkabout). Pantaleo's dense rhythm barrels forward with a sense of purpose over top DiBenedetto's ominous soundscapes, intensifying as the song unfolds and the rhythm expands from the locked in polyrhythmic trance. Pantaleo's drums take on a doubled effect as auditory perception begins to blur in the wake of the duo's gloomy yet undeniable groove. The haunting instrumental breathes and pulses with a sinister edge, perfect for a film score... though don't expect a happy ending to the story this song accompanies. AJ Pantaleo's "Hội An" finds beauty in the dark and primal.