Damo Suzuki's Network — Odyssey (Journey into Japanese Cosmos)
(Damo's Network DNW 020/021, 2000, 2CD)
Damo Suzuki's Network — Seattle
(Damo's Network DNW 018-019, 1999, 2CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-07-01
With all the recent activity surrounding 70s experimentalists Can, vocalist Damo Suzuki has come out with a spate of new recordings. Suzuki is a firm believer in the transitive nature of art, and has a well-known dislike of working in studios, so here we get two double live albums, Seattle, from that city on October 4, 1998, and Odyssey, from two nights in September of 1999 in Tokyo. The Network is a revolving cast of musicians sharing Suzuki’s spontaneous ideals. The Seattle set features former Can guitarist Michael Karoli, and is the closest approach yet to a Can reunion. Stylistically, the music consists of long tunes constructed very loosely, with Suzuki’s unusual vocals, often supplemented by effects, very emotional and rarely intelligible. Trippy accompaniment is provided by guitar, bass, drums, and violin. Many tracks slowly build to intense levels over the course of seven minutes or more. The twin guitars of Karoli and Alex Schönert provide many of the high points.
For the Tokyo shows, the band seems to rock a little more, though the general mood of loose spaciness prevails, and Carlos Robalo’s percussion adds to the grooves. While Damo’s music will probably not appeal to fans of highly arranged, slickly produced neo-prog, for those interested in creative improvisation and risky live work, either of these sets should provide some good hours of fun.
Related artist(s): Damo Suzuki
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
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more