Exposé Online banner

Greg Segal — Toad Is the Uncle of Heaven
(Phantom Airship no#, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-04-16

Toad Is the Uncle of Heaven Cover art

This one is definitely a curiosity, based on the ancient Vietnamese folk tale of the toad’s journey to see the king of heaven to ask for an end to a long drought, along with an entourage of other animals he meets along the way (bees, rooster, tiger), they succeed in making the king angry enough to grant them their wish just to get rid of them. This is a single 37 minute piece with no indexes, the story expressed entirely in music, no singing, no narration, and if you want to ignore the story you can do that as well, because the piece, which wanders through the numerous facets of the tale, presents each part in a more-or-less experimental keyboard style using synths, Mellotrons, clarinet, percussion, pipa, and very occasional voice samples. Each section is different enough from the one before it that this makes for an interesting journey from beginning to the end. “Rooster’s Song” is an almost free-form piece presented on solo clarinet, returning to the synths and Mellotron patches (it seems like nearly all the standard Mellotron sounds are used herein to varying extent), picking up the journey as they meet the tiger and proceed onward over the clouds until they come to the palace. Every piece of the story is different enough to make this a real musical journey — the more one listens to it the more sense it makes. Segal has done a lot of different things over the years, some things more effective than others, but with Toad, he’s knocked it out of the park.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Greg Segal

More info
http://gregsegal.bandcamp.com/album/toad-is-the-uncle-of-heaven

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
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

2019-04-24
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

2019-04-10
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


Previously in Exposé...

(Tom Newman) - Variations on a Rhythm of Mike Oldfield - David Bedford – This is a four track EP, and is basically a Tom Newman album. It's confusing, I know. This is some of that stuff you know Oldfield and Co. did for laughs (when perhaps beer and worse entered the...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues