Fang Chia — Where Would You That We Gather?
((Not on label) no#, 2014, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-06-16
Fang Chia's second release is a definite step up from their debut. Once again, it's a DIY affair, but the quality of the recording is good — we are in the age of affordable Digital Audio Workstations. This time out, the band sounds more like a band and less like an accumulation of recordings. The core quartet of Kyle Durkee, Matt Price, Kevin Shintaku, and Coby Tamayo (multi-instrumentalists all) is augmented by occasional guests, but the group members cover quite a variety of instruments on their own even without outside help. In particular, bassist Kevin Shintaku contributes trombone and guitar/keys man Kyle Durkee plays trumpet. The expanded instrumentation and the way keyboards fit into the arrangements lend a slight Canterbury flavor to the music, welcome in this world of metal-inflected progressive rock. This is a band that doesn't rely on flashy solos to carry the music, but concentrates on imaginative arrangements and varying tone colors. You'll get hints of Afrobeat, reggae, and more in the mix, though all still Fang Chia, and such atypical influences are a welcome addition to a prog record. "Nearly No" is a vocal tune which features harmonies oddly reminiscent of a barbershop quartet backed by some great angular riffs. My only small complaint is that a couple of tracks go on a bit over-long, which is ironic given how short some of the others are. "Start to See" has a really great riff and some good playing with its propulsive rhythm, but at 9:35 overstays its appeal by a couple minutes — there's a stop/restart about six minutes in where they could have left well enough alone and been better off. "Not before the Feast," on the other hand, though 18 minutes long, is actually more successful, with its long slow build-up from distant washes of ambient sound to some nifty interlocking guitar and bass parts. The CD finishes off with "Witch's Ice," an ambitious 20 minute epic featuring strings and mallet instruments. It starts off as a medium tempo vocal tune with faster instrumental interludes, then morphs through a number of sections, eventually fading off into an atmospheric void. This is another great eccentric effort by these kids from Tacoma.
Related artist(s): Fang Chia
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
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