Thee Opinataur

PA.RTS – “Greatest Hiss” – [Bombay Cove]

Thee Opinataur   5/16/2012   7-inch, A Library

Pressed on green marble swirl, this compilation of 5 short but dense tracks is compiled from cassettes put out since 2007 in limited release. PA.RTS =Pat.Robert.Robert, the three guys responsible for ‘Greatest Hiss’ packages home-built electronics, treated bass guitar, effects boxes, loops and much more.Thick blackish fog, steely knives slicing through the underworld.Haunting organ drone carries through all tracks with periodic pops, loops, feedback, repetitious bass undertones, dark inaudible chants, grinding warped tones. Their is a strange and frightening uneasiness to all of this, however with the tracks being much too short, it’s like a haunted house at Knott’s Scary Farm; your in, your out and on to the next.

For Whom The Cowbell Tolls [coll] – [Electric Cowbell]

Thee Opinataur   5/16/2012   A Library, CD

This is the second compilation of 45s’ that Brooklyn based artist run Electric Cowbell Records has released following there 2011 compilation 101 Things to do in Bongolia. Some usual suspects return for the 2012 edition including Debo Band, Spanglish Fly, Kharia Arby. Karthala 72 starts things off with some psychedelic African grooves straight out of 1972. Go back further a few more years to melt in some Latin Boogaloo with Spanglish Fly keeping it fresh with remixes by Kill Emil & The Audible Doctor. The Polyrhythmics ‘Pink Wasabi’ reflects influence by Fela Kuti. There is nothing to skip on this compilation, from Os Magrelos vintage Bossa Nova, classic Malian from Cheick Hamala Diabete, Khaira Arby & Sway Machinery. Debo Band’s ‘Gedawo is Ethio Funk heavy dub remixed masterfully by Kiddid. Even NO! BS Brass’s version of A-Ha’s cheesy ‘Take on Me’ is well worth the listen. Little Shalima’s two tracks are simply fun, soulful and funky. Super Hi-Fi’s trombone fueled ‘Single Payer’s Victor Rice remix closes things off on a high note. Electric Cowbell Records seems to have a knack for producing artists who relish in taking on great sounds of the past and creating something fresh for the next generations.

Coltrane, Alice – “Transfiguration” – [Warner Bros.]

Thee Opinataur   5/9/2012   12-inch, A Library

Recorded at Shoenberg Hall, UCLA in 1978, this double 12″ Album features Alice Coltrane on Piano and organ, Reggie Workman, Bass and Roy Haynes on drums. Quoting Alice Coltrane, Transfiguration transforms every musical statement from a mere expression of one’s mental prowess and music capabilities in an offering of love to God. This opening track sets the tone for the rest of the album as she manipulates the keys on her Wurlitzer into an intriguing and very listenable sound definitely inspired by her immersion into East Indian Spirituality. A2 ‘One for the Father’ is dedicated to her late husband John with sweet, passionate and personable piano play evoking her deep love. B1 ‘Prema’ The classically trained Coltrane evokes hints of Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky in this beautiful lush reflective piece accompanied by a string orchestra which was added post production. B2 ‘Affinity’ she is back on organ with an improvisational yet a repetitive often tone. C2 ‘Leo’ part 1 by far begins the highlight and dramatic conclusion to this concert. Workman manipulates his bass into eastern influenced sounds you would swear he was playing an oud or sitar at times during his extended solo. Leo continues in part 2 on D1 with drummer Roy Haynes drum solo equally as masterful as Workman’s implementing his full arsenal for a full 5 minutes. The remainder is filled with Coltrane’s frenetic organ play leaving no key black nor white untouched and maximizing each tone. All three are at their finest here in this finale with never a moment of rest, the momentum continuing for what seems like an eternity and climaxing in a satisfying achievement all their own. With all due respect to John Coltrane’s Leo, this version was something brand new and fresh which I’m certain he would have approved.

Forward Energy – “Awakening, The” – [Edgetone Records]

Thee Opinataur   5/2/2012   CD, Jazz

Released in March 2012. Forward Energy has been pumping out Album on Edgetone for more then a decade now and while each of these has featured a number of fine musicians, the current members mesh together superbly and are at the top of their game. Consisting of founder Jim Ryan on flute/sax/trumpet, Rent Romus Alto/Tenor/C-Soprano, Scott Looney, piano, Eric Marshall Double Bass and Tim Orr, Percussion. The Awaking is Free Jazz at its finest, however listen closely and you will hear subtle undertones of Be-Bop especially from Romus who spend time studying with Stan Getz. Everyone has chance to introduce and establish themselves in the Opening with Ryan & Romus leading the way on sax. The awaking is sweet pretty gentle style with Ryan’s flute and Looney plucking strings. It’s on track #3 Float and Jolt that takes you from quiet lulling to blasting you to full attention, then taking you on an emotional roller coaster ride before closing on an all out blitz. Track #4 Lost Leprechaun is indeed lost in back alley of nourish filth, wanting for his sunny meadow. #5 Freestyle is just that, with all 5 taking their turns to shine. Best of these tracks is #8 talk-talk with Ryan and Romus going at it with Looney and Marshall urging them on culminating in a final duel, a solemn end. #10 WhataBout ThaBlues? several measures resonate melodically, yet are fragmented with bangs, squawks, blats and crashes then fades to black.

Behold The Profit – “Behold The Profit” – [lowatt]

Thee Opinataur   4/18/2012   CD, Hip Hop

Greg Reynaud is Behold the Profit and is also known as “Thieves” in a previous life highlighted by his 2004 hit EP, “You Hold the World Like a Gun”. This is his first release under his current moniker and is eerily similar to “Thieves”. Composed of six dense tracks of trip hop, stutter, fuzz and distortion he doesn’t waste time and effort with monotonous repetitive beats as filler. He has taken great care in choosing samples which blend well his deep tight percussive beats. If you like slow mellow, dreamy, hallucinogenic grooves check out tracks 1 & 5. Track 4 is the heart of this EP highlighted with deep tight stuttering trips. Only thing disappointing with these six tracks of 20 minutes is they are over far too soon and leave you wanting more. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for his next compilation of deep dirty beats.




Blonk, Jaap – “Flux De Bouche” – [Staalplaat]

Thee Opinataur   4/4/2012   CD, Jazz

Avant Garde sound poet Jaap Blonk covers everything from early Dadaists’ such as Hugo Ball to American minimalist poets including Robert Wilson, in addition to his own pieces. Blonk’s vocals are fascinating whether he is performing in his native Dutch, English, or some other fantasy language. Blonk’s voice box is a remarkable sound instrument in its true raw form. His vocal acrobats are featured in full spectrum which range from pulsating vibrato and sharp staccato to sweet legatos’. The first track is a Hugo Ball poem ‘Sea Horses &Flying Fishes’ and is the very first sound poem Blonk ever recited. Robert Wilson’s ‘DINA SORE’ prose is performed intimately and effortlessly. Highlighting this compilation are Blonk’s first two phonetic studies; ‘Rhotic’ which is his investigation of the “R” and ‘Frictional’, the liner notes for both are visually instructive to follow along with. The final track ‘Brullt’ by Tristan Tzara who’s meaning is “roar” or “scream” is 9 minutes of extreme angst, listener beware who suffers anticipatory anxiety.

Yeh, C. Spencer / Flaherty, Paul / Kelley, Greg – “New York Nuts & Boston Beans” – [Important Records]

Thee Opinataur   3/21/2012   CD, Jazz

Live Recording from 2007 in Brooklyn N.Y. and Boston, MA. Five Untitled tracks. Tracks 1&2 consist of improvisational noise with Yeh on violin and Flaherty on Tenor Sax angrily battling back and forth with each forcefully expressing their own opinions. Yeh is impressive vocalizing scattered, aggressive gibberish while pleading with Flaherty. Both tone it down for a while, yet end where they started in wild abrasive noise highlighted by Yeh’s screeching violin. Tracks 4&5 bring in noise trumpet extraordinaire Greg Kelley. These tracks are more composed consisting of?? breathy drone?? from Kelley, lyrical notes from Flaherty’s Alto Sax and more voice instrumentation from Yeh. These three seasoned improvisors’ create chaotically beautiful noise together.


Elektriktus – “Electronic Mind Waves” – [Ictus]

Thee Opinataur   3/14/2012   A Library, CD

Originally released in 1976 on 12″ vinyl, remastered and re-released in 2011, Electronic Mind Waves is Elektriktus’s only album. Elektruktus is actually a pseudonym for the accomplished percussionist and composer Andrea Centazza. The name is a melding of his first experimentation with electronic cosmic kraut-rock and the name of his avant garde-jazz trio ‘Ictus’. This entire compilation was recorded with a TEAC 4-track and a couple of keyboards in Centazzo’s private country studio. The 8 tracks on this album are the recording of a journey which takes off with ‘Frequency Departure:Flying at Daybreak and concludes with ‘Frequencer Arrival’. On this journey you will be awakened to synth dominated chimes with support from subtle cymbal and gong. Along the way with each keyboard dominated wave the listener is treated to a cosmic journey time warp that pleases the senses and quietly keeps a meditative trance throughout. The best of this journey is track 7-‘Flying at Sunset’ as you truly can feel your entire being quietly alone in the fading burnt atmosphere. – Thee Opinator

Shipp, Matthew – “Elastic Aspects” – [Thirsty Ear Recordings]

Thee Opinataur   2/29/2012   CD, Jazz

Studio recording from July 2011, Trio – Matthew Shipp: Michael Bisio: Bass, Whit Dickey:drums. The masterful jazz pianist Matthew Shipp has covered nearly three decades of brilliant works, however he is always composing something we have not yet heard before to stimulate our senses. While Shipp is in fine form throughout, he brilliantly waits his time to allow bassist Michael Bisio to set the tone for us in opening track Alternative Aspects with spiritual moanful bowing. By the time all three play together in track 3, Psychic Counterpoint, we are transfixed and compelled to see where they will take us next. And just when you think you know where you are going, you are abruptly pulled back again and again, especially on track 9 Rainforest where once again Bisio shines with suggestive droning bow play to compel the listener forward on this journey. The album is correctly titled as the last 2 tracks build beautifully together to a climatic end in which we are grateful we came along for this wild ride. A highly improvisational compilation Shipp teases throughout with bright melodic licks only to take us to his next bending pathway which is always a delightful surprise. The brilliant relationship of these three musicians to his own instrument and to each other is an incredible harmonious feat.

Sneakers – “Children Into People” – [Hungry Mother]

Thee Opinataur   2/27/2012   7-inch, A Library

Produced in 2009, this 7″EP is one of the first releases from the young label Permanent Records Chicago. It is a side project from two members of the Chicago based progressive/noise group Cave. This brand of Sneakers will never be confused with the 70s power pop band and most assuredly nothing in common with the DePeche Mode tribute band of the same name.

These six short tracks are collectively repetitive lo-fi punk jams. Most of the songs contain reverb enhanced , echoed vocals that have a washed out wailing effect. Almost all vocals are inaudible except for B5 I Am the Disease

Each track possesses similar efficient catchy driving riffs and progress nicely throughout. While this 7″ was cut to play at 33rpm, when played at 45rpm it will take you back to the glorious garage punk days of late 70s.

All 6 tracks recommended, however the following are the highlights of the this EP

A2 Chicks Freaked Out

B2 I Am the Disease

B3 Nudes