Exposé Online banner

Hughscore — High Spot Paradox
(Tim/Kerr Records T/K 109-2, 1997, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-04-01

High Spot Paradox Cover art

Ex-Soft Machine bassist and composer Hugh Hopper steps out again in another of his many group collaborations, this time with Portland based Caveman Shoestore (Elaine de Falco, Fred Chanelor). This is the second collaboration between these players and for my ears, the best to assimilate. How, you might ask? The compositions appear more comfortable and natural flowing due to a more familiar interaction between players. Maybe it's also due to some sympathy between players and to the material. Producer Wayne Horvitz (former keyboardist with New York based band, The President) has improved highlighting the subtleties between players rather than with odd instrumentation. The set opens up with a sensitive cover of Hopper's "Miniluv" track, originally from his album 1984, but this time with a more sympathetic contribution in particular from french hornist, Jen Harrison. Hopper's bass has been cleverly modified to sound at times like lead guitar, and at other times as a dissonant counter melody carrier. Memorable tracks include "Against the Wheel" which is kind of like if Jane Siberry or the Roches sang on a few tracks from Soft Machine 6. Vocalist di Falco's use of un-modern keys is a real strength for the album. Her replacement of accordion for keyboard accompaniment makes the disc almost have a French sidewalk cafe quality, but without some of the silliness which sometimes appears. The Soft Machine moody motif is ever present throughout the disc making it extremely satisfying if you like variations on the more quirky jazz explorations by the band. At its worst the disc becomes a bit tedious part way through if only some of the intended mundane tone of the songs.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Hugh Hopper, Wayne Horvitz, Elaine Di Falco, Hughscore

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Box of Crayons - Colorblind Chameleon – This one took me several listens before I could even begin to pin it down enough to write a review. Covering a wide spectrum of art rock, Box of Crayons are certainly interesting. Their starting point...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues