Henderson / Oken — Dream Theory in the IE
(Firepool Records FR003, 2011, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01Mike Henderson (guitars, keyboards, effects and loops) and Chuck Oken (synthesized guitars and drums, keyboards, effects, sampling and loops) are one half of Djam Karet. But what is the IE? The vast area east of Los Angeles starting at around Pomona and extending eastward to San Bernardino, and south to to cities like Hemet is called the "Inland Empire," and the music on this disc was taken from three live performances at several undisclosed locations in the IE during December 2011. The music here consists of spontaneous improvisations, all recorded live without overdubs, culled from six hours of performances, which ended up as the seven cuts on this 76 minute release. The sound is gentle and evolving, or dreamy as the title implies; guitars and loops interact with other sounds and percussive samples and and move slowly between ideas, with soaring and fleeting melodic glimpses underpinned by subtle rhythms that flow and ebb and other mysterious sounds that contribute to the textures. I am sometimes reminded of the early work of Carl Weingarten, some quieter pieces by Steve Tibbetts, and of course Robert Fripp – the pioneer of the guitar looping style that runs through many of these pieces – figures in. Other reference points might include early 70s Floyd and Tangerine Dream. This is relaxing music through and through, yet still eventful and melodic. Hopefully this is a starting point for more releases to come.
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more