Basilwink — Payoffs, Kickbacks, and Other Great American Traditions
(Basilwink 825576865828, 2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01While the opening cut displays some fairly standard rock/funk riffery, the grotesquely distorted vocals and unusual effects make the two minute affair somewhat unique. Basilwink is the Wisconsin-based duo of Jim Bloedel and Jeff Marcus, who are responsible for all instruments and vocals here; this is their third release (although Marcus has a few solo releases as well). Moving forward we pass through a handful of cuts that follow a similarly interesting trajectory, creating short innovative slabs of eccentric rock, often with muted or treated vocals, while at the same time taking irreverent stabs at them with effects and other musical mischief, making for a fairly quirky listen. But that’s just the beginning. When we hit track 7 (“Bombs in the Neighborhood...”) everything changes; this expanded minimalist electronic exploration moves into new territory for the duo, with droning voices and otherworldly effects. “Angry Sun” is another unusual workout for strangely effected sounds and loops, like voices of bizarre tiny insect creatures, all underpinned by a middle-eastern sounding melody in a blissful rock groove. Carrying onward, we move through a few short mostly instrumental electronic rock vignettes, as well as a longer cut featuring spoken voice lyrics (both straight and heavily distorted) with a muted rock guitar underpinning. In all, this disc is packed with unusual twists and adventurous turns, and a big step forward from their previous disc.
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more