Algernon — Ghost Surveillance
(Cuneiform Rune 297, 2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01Lately I've been listening to a lot of music that is labeled "post-rock," and like many genre labels, there is a point at which it becomes meaningless. World's End Girlfriend, GYBE, Hualun, and Algernon do have some qualities in common: instrumental music that can generally be called rock but crosses elements from varying other genres into the mix. For WEG, the main external element is electronic music, while for Algernon it's jazz, although the result often reminds me of 70s King Crimson crossed with Tortoise rather than any actual jazz artist except maybe Jaga Jazzist (who are of course far from being pure jazz). The rhythmic underpinning of the tunes is complicated enough to please math rock fans, but not so overbearing that they belong in that style. The band's two guitar, bass, and drums lineup is filled out by vibraphone, although the inherently jazzy sound of the vibes isn't the sole reason jazz comes up so often with this band; there are lots of of extended chords, and many of the melody lines utilize the kind of intervals not often heard in rock. There is not, however, a lot of improvisation – hardly any, in fact. What there is is solid playing, inventive composition and just plain fun. I really enjoy listing to this CD from start to finish. There's not a bum track, and I'm sure I'll be coming back to it for years to come, rotating tracks in and out of my mp3 player.
Related artist(s): Algernon
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more