Cameron Sharif, Ray Larsen, Evan Woodle and Mark Hunter are Chemical Clock. Finding themselves together within the darkened recesses of the University of Washington’s music building, these four undergraduates united in their common desire to experiment in new musical territories — the bleeding-edge kind of stuff they’d never learn about in jazz college. Under the influence of professor Cuong Vu, who fervently supported their artistic explorations, Chemical Clock has taken to it in earnest since the early days of 2009. Of their sound: this quartet is decidedly more “dance club” than “jazz club.” Combining elements of electronica and rock with jazz-informed improvisational sensibilities, it’s no straightforward task to adequately describe the Chemical Clock canon. To behold, their live thing is a heavy-hitting, beat-laden, thrash-and-bash spectacle. You’d sooner envision yourself bobbing and flailing amid the crowd along to the Clock’s jams before you’d consider taking a seat for a polite listening session at some genteel supper joint (you know, maybe over an exorbitantly-priced hummus platter or something). With effected and reverberant trumpeting, bit-crushed keys, explosive drum-setsmanship and ironclad bass-work, Chemical Clock pilots their way through nigh-unnavigable passages of composition, deftly maneuvering through sinewy melodic channels with studied fluency. In tandem, the ensemble whiplashes to and fro betwixt convulsive improvisation and calculated musical constructions with a coherency that often seems telepathic.
“Fierce, abrasive, angular and breathtakingly precise…”—The Seattle Times
“Chemical Clock played jazz as if they were German math geniuses doing mushrooms after hours at the CERN.”—Hollow Earth Radio