Hu Vibrational — The Epic Botanical Beat Suite
(M.O.D. Technologies META019, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-09A band featuring seven percussionists might be expected to be a veritable groove-fest, full of propulsive rhythms. In the case of Adam Rudolph’s Hu Vibrational, that expectation would be somewhat confounded — this is a surprisingly atmospheric and spacy set of tracks, generally not danceable. One thing that stands out is the absence of the standards of latin percussion: no congas, bongos, or timbales. Frame drum, djembe, and cajon are the most widely known items in the credits, and beyond those lie a dozen or more instruments from around the world. In addition to the platoon of drummers, four guests provide other sounds. Eivind Aarset plays very atmospheric guitar, hardly ever playing recognizable notes; Steve Gorn plays bansuri flute; Alex Marcelo handles electric piano (like the guitar, more texturally than harmonically); Bill Laswell lays down some bass, but you’ll find none of the heavy tones he’s known for. The lack of a kit drummer, or even other percussion instruments that perform the functions of bass drum, snare, and cymbals, lends a certain gauzy sheen to the sound. The low resonance of the cajon (and who knows what other instrument) is very different from the punchy impact of a kick drum, taking us further out of the realm of typical percussion-based music. The really amazing thing is that even with seven percussionists, the overall sound is pretty sparse, even to the point where you wonder how many of them appear at any given time. In general, percussion rarely gets to step into the spotlight, being relegated to a supporting role, but Hu Vibrational turns that paradigm upside down in a refreshing way.
Related artist(s): Steve Gorn, Bill Laswell, Adam Rudolph / Moving Pictures / Go: Organic Orchestra
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more