GRAILS: Black Tar Prophecies Vol's 1,2, & 3 CD (Important) - Another dose of dark, building, doom ragas (and a couple of heavier tracks, too!) from Grails. Excellent!
SOUND IN ACTION TRIO: Gate CD (Atavistic) - It’s a soloist’s dream come true - having two percussionists lay down incredible foundations for amazing solo excusions. Vandermark and company run through a nice mix of covers and original compositions. The majority of the tracks are incendiary workouts on tenor and baritone saxophones, with clarinet and bass clarinet being featured on the couple quieter, more subtle pieces. Outstanding!
TITAN: S/T CD (Paradigms) - On their debut release Brooklyn’s Titan delivers their updated take on the 70’s German longform, AKA Krautrock with reasonable success. It would be better if their music ran a little more to the Neu! end of the spectrum than the Ash Ra Tempel side, but hey, it’s OK.
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HYLOZOISTS: La Fin Du Monde CD (Boompa) - Despite an army of artists, apparently informed by interesting influences and playing an arsenal of instruments (including some unique ones, such as vibes, strings, and so on), this glorious sounding recording of mostly instrumental pop was just too sweet and straight to make the grade for me. Close, but no cigar.
LANE, ADAM FULL THROTTLE ORCHESTRA: New Magical Kingdom (Clean Feed) - Similar to the previous title, this release by Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra seemed that it would have enough going for it to make the grade. I, unlike many people, often like Big Band Jazz projects and I like (and am even personally acquainted) a lot of the players on this release. Nevertheless, despite repeated spins, this just never really clicked for me. Maybe it was simply a case of this release sounding weak in comparison to several other recent outstanding Jazz releases, such as those by Sex Mob, Bridge 61, and so on, that have dominated my stereos lately.
PAJO: 1968 CD (Drag City - I could relate to the fucked up loner vibe of the lyrics, but I couldn’t dig it musically. So, overall, this release didn’t make the grade and was consigned to the Amoeba trade pile.
V/A: So Much Fire To Roast Human Flesh CD (Bastet) - This collection gathers numerous “big names” in the folk psych scene together for a very worthy cause, but, unfortunately, the misses strongly outweigh the hits. I almost feel guilty panning this release, but it simply does not stand up musically, in my humble opinion.
Running Count For The Year
Did Not Add 64/40%