Exposé Online banner

Hu Vibrational — The Epic Botanical Beat Suite
(M.O.D. Technologies META019, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-09

The Epic Botanical Beat Suite Cover artA 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.

Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Gorn, Bill Laswell, Adam Rudolph / Moving Pictures / Go: Organic Orchestra

Latest news

2021-01-18
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 Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
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

2020-10-06
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


Previously in Exposé...

Fish - Fellini Days & Nights, Sashimi & Suits – Fellini Days is the ex-Marillion singer’s tribute to famed director Italian Federico Fellini best known for his avant-garde films such as La Dolce Vita and Satyricon. The director himself was a...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues