Bassius-O-Phelius — Them No Good Phelius Boys Is Nothin' But Trouble... Trouble I Tells Ya!
(Room 34 Records BPOBCD06, 1998, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-04-01
Bassius-O-Phelius is a duo not unlike Birdsongs of the Mesozoic in instrumental quirkiness, with a direct lean toward early-70s free jazz and jazz rock. This is not a player's album, but a record of unsettling themes and sometimes goofy live improvs. The group is at its best when focusing on low end grooves such as on "Squoebs and Bueoergs." The group has multiple influences and curve balls especially when a short rendition of "Amazing Grace" is included for an off-centering effect. "Cirque du Moze" (which clocks in at a little over ten minutes) benefits from an old Wurlitzer electric piano amidst a sad clarinet refrain very much like Ummagumma era Pink Floyd meets Eno at a French street corner café and they actually hit it off! "Suddenly Totally Incompetent" reminds me of a Miles Davis bass-driven riff with wah-wah organ (like a controlled Mike Ratledge) skittering the piece into the land of Canterbury tinged funk fusion. You might be getting the picture that the two members have a sense of humor relating to song titles (and maybe also real world experiences). The real taker in this category is "My Idea of a Romantic Evening Does Not Involve a Trip to the Dermatologist." This piece is more guitar rhythm based with a simple synth lead and a good dialog between keyboard and drums. The group is very much into the fun part of simple improvisation and discovery which actually creates an endearing quality to the disc. For Eno fans who are also into free jazz and classic keyboards.
Related artist(s): Bassius-O-Phelius
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more