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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

Them No Good Phelius Boys Is Nothin' But Trouble... Trouble I Tells Ya! Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Bassius-O-Phelius

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