Exposé Online banner

Ibex — Parthenogenesis
(Bandcamp no#, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-05-19

Parthenogenesis Cover art

Ibex is a young band from Bellingham, Washington, way up in the far northwest corner of the contiguous states, which is a reminder that in today’s world, there’s no point in saying that anyplace is more or less unlikely to be the source of good progressive music. If I had to give a quick comparison to a more widely known band, I would pick fellow Washingtonians Moraine, not just because of the prominence of violin in both bands, but also because of a certain angular melodicism. There are odd meters and unexpected changes, and a fondness for using dissonance to add tension. But the similarities are fairly shallow, really, with Ibex tending more towards heavier riffs where Moraine has a jazzy bent. Another reference might be Djam Karet on one of their more rockish albums, or Bi Kyo Ran, though the violin makes such comparisons necessarily tentative. One thing I really like about Parthenogenesis is how Ibex demonstrates how to be an instrumental band that is not at all about showing off technique. There are some nicely tricky unison sections, and many subtle touches from all of the players, but the “solo” sections never venture into self-indulgent wankery, favoring textures and tones more than flashy playing. They also know how to put together a longer piece and keep it interesting, such as the title track, 11:35 of varying sections and moods. They strike an intriguing balance between fussy rhythmic trickery (math rock) and Crimson-esque progressive rock. But the thing that makes the music work is that there are good melodies throughout. So often, bands who indulge in metric complexity neglect the melodic side of the music and end up sounding like background music — sometimes it’s loud background music, but it’s lacking the appeal that comes from solid lead lines. Parthenogenesis is a great release from a promising young band, vastly improved from their 2014 debut and definitely ready for prime time.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Ibex

More info
http://ibexxx.bandcamp.com/album/parthenogenesis

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Amazing Blondel - Englische Musicke – Amazing Blondel existed throughout the early 70s, originally formed by John Gladwin and Terry Wincott after leaving another even more obscure band called Methuselah. This compilation is drawn from...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues