Disen Gage — The Screw-Loose Entertainment
(RAIG R004, 2004, CD)
Disen Gage — Libertâge
(RAIG R017, 2006, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-04-25
Next to Vespero, my favorite Russian band is Disen Gage. To date we have covered their 2016 to 2019 releases. Now I have the opportunity to focus on their formative years (2002 - 2006) by reviewing their first two albums. Their 2004 debut album The Screw-Loose Entertainment is an engaging set of 13 groove-laden instrumentals. From their early days, these guys knew how to jam. The opening track “Solaris” is an excellent first exposure to Disen Gage and that ends with a cool space rock groove. Many of these tracks are filled with the raw energy of King Crimson-inspired riffs: “Komar,” “Witchtanz,” and “Jewboilove.” Each unique track shows a different facet of their musical prowess. Sometimes, as on “Arabia,” they explore jazz fusion grooves, or percussive instrumentation as on “Kategerin.” The track “Latino” continues the melodic jazz fusion trend and adds odd noises and voices, as well as a Latin beat with a riff sounding like "Istanbul (Not Constantinople).” And on the King Crimson flavored tracks, it sounds like they were channeling Adrian Belew. The disc closes with three live bonus tracks recorded at Forpost in 2002: “Solaris,” “Theme,” and “Chinagroove #15.” “Solaris” is grittier than the studio version and consequently better with its raw noisy energy. “Theme” is another excellent slab of jazz fusion, this time sounding like Carlos Santana as the track builds to its climax. And “Chinagroove #15” is first and foremost a heavy rhythmic groove propelled by bass and guitar that serves as a base for an improvised guitar jam. “The Screw-Loose Entertainment” was a very strong debut.
Two years later in 2006, Disen Gage released their second album Libertâge. Over the two years the band moved on from grooves and focused their musical vision to explore experimental and more creative ideas. Both albums are roughly the same duration, yet Libertâge has only seven tracks, and therefore longer instrumentals. “Entree” opens the album with minimal introspective music that grows and swells to some very fine guitar lines over its six minutes. Next is the excellent “The Crash,” with its crashing drums, percussive rhythm, guitar, and sax recalling both King Crimson’s Red and the contemporary French band Jack Dupon. Next is the interesting and engaging “Attaque de Blindes.” Percussion dominates on this track with a melodic guitar line slowly emerging. Midway through, cymbals take over, followed by a melodic guitar riff sequence. The intelligent “Bene Immobile di Tutti Sicilia” follows as the band takes you through many different changes in mood and tempo. Then Disen Gage changes direction to heavy progressive rock jam with “Der Roboter Werters Dauern Minuten.” Next is the 15 minute “H5N1,” a calm quiet experimental track that slowly changes from amorphous sound to swirling electronics. And the album ends with the atmospheric and eerie “Sortie.” Quite a leap forward in music over two years and Disen Gage continued in this direction with their subsequent albums.
Related artist(s): Disen Gage
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more