Exposé Online banner

Jack o' the Clock — Night Loops
(Bandcamp no#, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-07-16

Night Loops Cover art

What a difference a year makes. After three excellent albums of mostly acoustic eclectic folk laced with strange pop influences, jugband, classical, chamber, and avant-garde experimentation, Jack o’ the Clock has deemed it an appropriate time to evolve and change things up a bit. Many of the unique ingredients of the first three are still present here on Night Loops, but the tone is darker, far more experimental, and there seems to be more rock and electric instrumentation in the mix, including electronics and samples. Vocals are often treated to strange effects, giving those cuts an other-worldly feel. The core band remains the same: violin, bassoon, drums and percussion, acoustic and electric guitar / keys / flute, and electric and acoustic bass, with vocals shared by the core members, and additional instrumentation (saxes, clarinet, bass clarinet, pipe organ, additional electric guitar, and vocals) provided by guest players on a track-by-track basis. As always, the vocal harmonies and arrangements are superb throughout, with plenty of attention given to shifting moods and interesting melodic threads. Some of the cuts like “As Long as the Earth Lasts,” “Down Below,” or “Come Back Tomorrow” might well stand alone as memorable songs, while other pieces tend to act as instrumental or experimental interludes that serve as glue to tie the program together nicely. They’re never afraid to try unusual textures and novel ideas, be they created with instruments or voices or even studio effects. The marimba and voices alternate to wonderful effect on “Fixture,” while the follow-up “Furnace” is comprised almost entirely of whispered voice overlays, flowing into “Salt Moon,” where herky-jerky rhythms and delicate instrumental interplay between woodwinds, strings, and percussion create something approaching later period Henry Cow sans improvisation. Another strong effort from this excellent Bay Area ensemble, and kudos for their willingness to incorporate new ideas into the fabric of their sound.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Jack o' the Clock

More info
http://jackotheclock.bandcamp.com/album/night-loops

Latest news

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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Phideaux - Friction – Phideaux (pronounced like "Fido") is New York singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Phideaux Xavier. His debut release, Friction, is a dense and quite impressive piece of work. Featuring something in...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues