Purification of Wounds

In this office, the prettier the CD the sooner it’s listened to. Just human nature, I guess. Of course you can never judge a CD by its beautifully designed cover. Case in point, January 14 & 15, 2005, which documents a two-night stint at Tonic by Billy Martin’s improvising outfit Socket, with its calculated and subdued little squiggles, doesn’t even hint at the sonic chaos contained on the disc inside. From the inscrutable utterances supplied by Shelley Hirsch to the din of Min Xiao Fen’s amplified pipa, Socket is an industrial-strength blender, shredding through styles and genres with selfless abandon.

—RN