Nick Millevoi’s Streets of Philadelphia was an under-the-radar favorite of mine last year so this new joint from Desertion Trio is a welcome surprise. Numbers Maker is like Streets distant cousin twice removed that’s had a rough go of it the last few years. These snarling, progressive grooves sneak inside your skull and stay there. From the first pulsing thuds of opening track, “Albion,” Millevoi extracts skronked-out tones from his guitar like a steelworker bending pipe into weird, intricate shapes while the bass and drum combo of Johnny DeBlase and Jason Nazary lock into overdrive. It’s one hell of an intro.
Rifling through the details on Numbers Maker, it’s incredible that this was all recorded live with no overdubs or retakes. “Buist” churns up the dust with DeBlase’s bass slithering across the floor like a trash snake doing rhythmic laps in the grime. His bass tone is so dense you feel it deep in your stomach. Millevoi and Nazary play off this foundation, though, throwing solos back and forth like hot potatoes, never wanting to hold the spotlight for too long. Moving in unexpected directions, Desertion Trio channels serious mid-70’s Miles’ vibes while grinding out new paths across warped floors.
One thing I keep coming back to with Numbers Maker is how it truly is a collective effort. Admittedly I’m first drawn to MIllevoi’s jagged guitar riffs, but as you get deeper into the hole Nazary and DeBlase both draw your ear until you realize it’s the combination of these specific three musicians that propel this into interstellar directions. Saddle up and get ready to move your ass because there’s no way around it, Desertion Trio will get you hustling. Numbers Maker will take you on a 100 mph trip from the word ‘go.’