Exposé Online banner

David Thomas — Mirror Man
(Cooking Vinyl COOK CD 175, 1999, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-11-01

Mirror Man Cover artFrom a dizzy blurring pastiche of commentary and cadence comes a curious project, extremely artsy with obscure socio-overtones. The former lead vocalist of Pere Ubu, David Thomas has assembled one of the oddest collections of musicians for his "Pale Orchestra" project and this is only Act 1: Jack and the General. Starting out with poetry and recitation as the key focal point of the disc, political statements about the drift of priorities of the US are rampant. I can't help the obvious comparisons to a Captain Beefheart/Lou Reed/ Residents/Tom Waits event. Support is provided by several interesting participators including Linda Thompson who hasn't graced a live performance in almost fifteen years! Her lead vocal on "Nowheresville" is almost a Patti Smith style approach. Two prog heavy players, Peter Hammill and Chris Cutler, are utilized in instrumental support roles as part of the band: Hammill as second guitarist and harmonium player, Cutler on electric drums. Pieces such as "Ballad of Florida" benefit from a folksy motif with some brash echo trumpet from Andy Diagram. Plus there appears to be many more portions to this conceptual work as one part of the four day festival, "David Thomas: Disastrodome," how do they link? Missing the visual aspect of this work can be a bit disproving of the concept by making the proceedings more beat poetry than major multimedia event; hopefully there could be a DVD release? Overall, Mirror Man is a clever puzzle with many onion layers to peel. But I have no idea how long it takes to get to the center. Further info on the festival and a detailed context of the album's focus is available at www.projex.demon.co.uk.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Chris Cutler, Peter Hammill, David Thomas, Linda Thompson

More info
http://www.projex.demon.co.uk

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
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

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
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


Previously in Exposé...

Haystacks Balboa - Detoxified – This one came out around 1970, a one-off by a New York based band whose members weren't even listed on the LP jacket, and were never heard from again, so far as this writer knows. For some unknown...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues