THE WRONG OBJECT/After the Exhibition: Suppose, just suppose now, that someone gave Robert Fripp too much sugar, kidnapped him, John McLaughlin and Frank Zappa, threw hoods over them and took them to Gitmo and blasted Soft Machine at them. In Belgium, they call this rock-in-opposition but I call it wow. Taking the tradition of prog jazz/rock but blowing the conventions wide open, this is prog rock for now. Utterly wild and wooly throughout, this is the stuff for a young jazzbo to get his head bang in on. It's music to wake you up and shake you up that just doesn't know how and when to quit. Killer stuff.
DUSAN JEVTOVIC/Am I Walking Wrong?: Insidious power trio fusion from Spain by way of Serbia that has all the angular, musical playing that fueled a lot of your first discoveries into the genre. Careening around the bend into noize territory this crew can go toe to toe with anyone that you think is ruling the top shelf of the genre. Hot stuff that blazes it's way into your consciousness, this is more for those tastes that really like it out beyond the stars---but not in a spacey way.
I KNOW YOU WELL MISS CLARA/Chapter One: There's a lot worse things a young jazzbo could do with his life than be influenced by John McLaughlin's world beat side and try to expand the vocabulary. A crew of young lions that weren't even around when their grandparents were grooving to Shakti, this bunch has the world fusion thing going on in a big way. Tasty stuff that's in the pocket and on the beam, this is right up the alley of youngsters that want their own world fusion excursions. Loaded with slow burning fire, the real heat is never far behind. Oh yeah, these kids come by their world beat chops naturally, they're from Indonesia. Well done.
SIMAK DIALOG/The 6th Story: So where to people that live in places that world beat explorers like to go head off for when they want some world beat? This bunch didn't stray far from home, except to master their record in Scotland. While we haven't heard from this crew in quite some time, they haven't been letting grass grow under their feet while wood shedding. A tasty world jazz outing that can easily compete with any of your faves from the 80s or 90s by any number of all stars, this music adds a happy elements not often found in those serious voyages. A delightfully grand ear opener that shows there's still musos out there caring about something other than getting a clothes line. Well done.
SACRED EARTH/Inyan: The label presents us with a new duo that has honed their chops to deliver massage/yoga/healing music that has familiar elements without turning cliché. This set of inner peace music is devoted to the earth, from the rocks that provide stability to the great beyond. Rather than re-serve typical noodling of the past, there is a pop sensibility to this music that provides it with a beginning a middle and an end making it more satisfying that just drifting into the void not really knowing when it will end. The duo leads with flute and voice augmenting it all with dulcimer, keyboard, guitar and some fellow travelers lending a hand. The best of this stuff to come along since Crimson, this duo shows a masterful presentation of new age for nu times. Give this to your massage therapist next time around instead of a tip. Solid.
SACRED EARTH/The Way Home: No, this new age duo isn't covering Neil Young this time around. Clocking in at an hour, special note to massage therapists, they spend the time making wise, new versions of mantras that make them sound like nothing George Harrison ever would have though possible. A very sly take on sort of sacred music, this duo gets you looking inward in ways you never would have thought about. Often sounding like an industrial folk record pushing the boundaries of Americana, it looks like the great melting pot has finally become a reality nearly 100 years after social scientists first starting pushing the idea. And from Australia it comes. This is a very tasty, left of center recording the open eared can easily enjoy as well even if they don't give a hoot about healing or introspection. Terry Oldfield better take a tip from Satchel Paige.
SACRED EARTH/Bhakti: Just like there are Latin and African records where you have no clue what's going on but you get it anyway, that effect is going on here. An impressionistic look at the Hindu side of love, you wouldn't mistake this for an album like ‘Miles Davis for Lovers' but the love message seems to come through loud and clear. With sonic seasonings to take you well beyond the pale and behind the veils of love, this could easily pass for a spiritual version of Barry White on the other side of the Ganges. Of course, young gringos will want to play this with some of their fave soon to be legal herb just like their grandparents did when they listened to sonic world exploration by Paul Horn and the rest. Hot stuff for the forward thinking and left leaning.
SACRED EARTH/Breathing Space: This set is different from the rest of the batch by Sacred Earth. This sounds like the soundtrack of a vision quest. A personal album long gestating in the mind of the male half of the duo, it's dedicated to the couple's child. This child will soon be reaching his terrible twos and if a set like this was gestating along with the kid, one can only hope poppa didn't feel the need to make this because the tyke is a real hell raiser. Squarely in the classic new age bag, this album is more about making the most of white space than it is filling in all the blanks. Real stuff for the real seeker.
TIM HARMSTON/Most Bees Ever: The funny man from Minnesota comes on like a modern Steven Wright where he's not that laconic but he is that off kilter finding humor that sneaks up behind you. While some of the jokes have a decided north woods bent the rest of the country might not get, there's enough here you can relate to that got him to break through on Letterman, Comedy Central and more. If you haven't been exposed to Harmston yet, this new discovery will offer you a solid laugh a minute fun fest. Check it out.
Volume 38/Number 95
February 4, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record
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