Exposé Online banner

Copernicus — Deeper
(Nevermore Inc. NCD2087, 1987/2012, CD)

Copernicus — Worthless!
(Nevermore Inc. NCD2093, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-09-10

Deeper Cover artWorthless! Cover art

Listening to Copernicus is anything but easy. Widely varying music, everything from clattering free improvisation to sloppy renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner," backs the crazed ranting of the man himself, going on about diverse topics including US activities in Latin America, subatomic particles, economic disparity, Elvis, the nature of reality, and so on (if you detect a pattern there, you're smarter than I am). What's surprising is how listenable the result can be. Not that this is for everyone — I can imagine many people running from the room as if sulfuric acid had been poured into their ears — but I find the result fascinating for the most part. It's like stepping into the alternate universe where the crazy old coot who rode your bus the other day rambling on about who-knows-what is a respected poet, and musicians are lining up to provide settings for his ruminations. The large number of collaborators who provide the backing music are paying attention and doing things that make sense (in this twisted bizarro world at least) and provide an appropriate setting for the words. Deeper was originally released back in 1987; Worthless! is a new work, and aside from Copernicus, musical director Pierce Turner and drummer Thomas Hamlin are the only names I see in common between the two (maybe there are more, but the lists are so long...). Aside from the cleaner recording quality, there's not a qualitative difference between the two, so I can't go for the easy joke that Worthless! writes its own review in its title. Certainly not for the faint-hearted or closed-minded, Copernicus (the "conceptual creation of Joseph Smalkowski") is worth a listen for the strong-hearted and open-minded, sort of like William S. Burroughs backed by an electric free jazz band. Acid ingestion not required.


Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases, 1987 recordings, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Copernicus, Fred Chalenor

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Black Noodle Project - Play Again – Thick and chunky spacerock mannerisms assault unsuspecting onlookers before settling into the interactive stylistic conflagrations that expansive progressive rock is known for. This is classic...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues