Album Review

Gravity Adjusters Expansion Band – “One” – [Paradigm Discs]

abacus   2/1/2012   A Library, CD

Open-ended freeform improv from a bunch of Bay Area musicians (and not) centered around jazz drummer Lee Charlton and sound/visual artist Richard Waters. The project is all centered around Waters’ kinetic sound sculptures such as the predominant waterphone, a bowed acoustic metal synthesizer that uses water in its resonator for pitch tuning and bending in some dizzying microtonal sways that sound like alien whale calls. This is a reissue of their 1973 LP (with 15mins extra material) released on some small Californian label Nocturne Records. Lush, underwater textures peppered with the clatter and clang of water gong drums yet locked in a distinctly jazz inflected harmonic fishbowl. Shimmering steel overtones atop primitive drone oscillations with rumbling and merging reverberations. Drowning melodies portray a raga mythos, telepathically??warbling mutant soundscapes in a warped muted timescape. There’s a few traditional instruments like bass violin and keyboards making cameos but never in standard form. The open membership and formless, delusional escapades must account for the lack of knowledge about these guys despite having influenced artists from Lalo Schifrin to the Grateful Dead.

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