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This disc's wacky presentation and titles (holy war in your pants, a day at the mall, erectile cognitive bop bits, pomp and vindaloo, Felini's pickup truck, invocation and fanfare of the Tahitian garbage fairies) belies, I think, the seriousness of purpose of the group. The artist who seems to hover over all of these pieces is Frank Zappa.

Each track is not just a collage of musical effects and sounds; but also a disjoint mix of styles. The first piece, holy war in your pants, starts in a way that makes you think you are being led into a form of post-modern minimalism [listen, track 1 0:00-1:17], but the group segues through a variety of styles such as modern jazz and John Cage-like modernism. This movement also features non-western instruments such as a sitar.

A day at the mall introduces wordless vocals and rather insistent popular song-like material in a Gavin Bryars-like amalgam of found recorded vocalism and instrumentals [listen, track 2 0:10-1:19]. This morphs, via twentieth century modernism, into something like a popular twenties dance number, which re-occurs in various guises throughout the movement [listen, track 2 02:45-3:54]. Unusual combinations of instrument and timbres are always to the fore and this movement includes a banjo-like oriental instrument.

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Copyright © 28 April 2004 Robert Hugill, London UK


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