Muvovum - Xox-Alekwrt

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Lunachord Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:07:00

Some of Muvovum's music on Xox-Alekwrt is very moody, experimental jazz, the other parts are brighter, but still riding that line between avant-ambient and jazz. At various points throughout, starting with "axolotl II," I kept thinking of King Crimson, or rather my impression of King Crimson. Though on a few occassions, Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic also flew to mind. This instrumental quartet - William Gilbert on percussion, Brad Guillory on bass, Brien Karas on electric guitar and Scott Magee on organ and electric piano -- create a very textured, but angular, sound, which is very understated. The first five tracks, "axolotl" through "axolotl v" are one multi-movement piece, though neither segment alone lasts for very long. Track five is the longest at 8 minutes (track one is the second longest at a minute-forty-eight. At about three minutes into "axolotl v," everything freezes...hovers with an extended organ note. Actually, I thought my CD had gotten stuck, but with differently pitched modular sounds humming in and out, I realized this wasn't the case (I couldn't see the time counter where I was listening from). Don't listen to this if you are even a bit drowsy, as the sonic hum will lull into deep relaxation and, unfortunately, sleep (well, unfortuante for listening, if you're trying to relax...). Awake though, you'll find it creates a tremendous amount of tension, perhaps anxiety. If you imagine some usually mobile object held in suspension, whilst smaller objects move about, curious, prodding, and concerned... something's not right...

And then, it stops, with some snickering percussion, and we move into the jolly tootling of "an apple, a pear." "oranges taste good" brings us back to Crimson (again, as a reference point), with some give and take "arguing" between... well, I'm going to say fuzzed guitar and keys... more like a heated debate, actually, with diversions and tangents interspersed. Some quite active, some quite sedate ... like someone who's manic-depressive, to be honest. Flurries of activity contrasted with drones.

"Sun Room" is another happy sounding track... I thought of a bug (spider, say) running amuck in this bright, sunny, neglected room. Sort of A Spider's Life or something (a la A Bug's Life). The tones are light, and cheerful...higher pitched and played in a upbeat manner. "pneumatic girls" ups the happy quotient by a degree or two. "whiff" is another that goes from relatively sedate (though even still quite active) to brief spurts of high activity (I thought of French TV) -- you might say, what would happen if an ADHD kid got a "whiff" of glue (or something equally intoxicating). "assembly" as the title suggests, has a dark, industrial feel. Though, it is of blissfully, blindly happy machinery -- I guess the kind of employees big business wants. Isn't that the new thinking? Pretend your happy, and the problems will disppear?

The final track is "17:06" in title and time... this brings us back to the album's moody, atmospheric beginning.

This is music for your head, most definitely -- well, you couldn't dance to it, not really. In a way, this plays like a continuous suite of music, as each piece seems to reference those before it, though not really in any direct way. That is, the structure isn't verse/chorus/verse but rather all verse, even if the verse is restated. It's a progression from sedate to active to sedate. Being head music, one has to be in a particular mood or state of mind to listen. It's music for when you have time to just sit back and absorb... when you can open your mind.

Axolotl I (1:48) / Axolotl II (0:42) / Axolotl III (0:45) / Axolotl IV (0:53) / Axolotl V (8:06) / An Apple, A Pear (1:21) / Oranges Taste Good (8:05) / Sun Room (3:55) / Pneumatic Girls (3:37) / Whiff (4:18) / Assembly (2:19) / Stereoisomerisms I (2:09) / stereoisomerisms II (2:03) / 17:06 (17:06)

William Gilbert - percussion
Brad Guillory - bass
Brien Karas - electric guitar
Scott Magee - organ/electric piano

Bug Music (1999)
Xox Alekwrt (2001)
Karas and McGee- Glissements Du Plaisir (2001)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: June 26th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 927
Language: english


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