Exposé Online banner

Mahogany Frog — Senna
(Moonjune MJR048, 2012, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-11-13

Senna Cover artI've been hearing about Mahogany Frog for a few years now, but Senna is the first of their releases that I've heard. It starts with a stuttering keyboard part that morphs into a slow procession of chords on keyboards backed by skittering electronic percussion. The piece builds over the course of several minutes, adding in electric guitar, drums, and more keys. A distorted slide guitar enters dramatically, giving a vaguely Floydian tinge to the mounting mid-tempo pulse, and then, about three minutes in, suddenly the band slips into double-time for a frenetic close to "Houndstooth Part 1." "Part 2" builds its way up from a fuzzy 7/4 riff on the bass, with guitars and keys making a firm declaration of prog-rock intentions. The keyboards, which include some very unconventional sounds, are particularly effective, providing a classic sound without actually using typical instruments. There's a string sound that's heavily phased, and something a bit like an old Vox organ compressed and flanged, and something resembling the fuzz Lowrey organ from early Soft Machine. The arrangements also include occasional environmental noises, imparting a touch of psychedelia. Often music with such high degrees of processing applied to the source material can sound sterile and lifeless, but Mahogany Frog manage to make every part sound organic but twisted, as if heard through an inter-dimensional gateway from some other realm not quite like our own. This totally unique combination of elements is masterfully shaped into one of the finest and most progressive (adjective, not genre) releases I've heard in some time.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Mahogany Frog

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Black Angels - Directions to See a Ghost – It is always exciting to discover new bands that take interesting elements from the past, combine them with fresh new ideas, and create something entirely new. Cases in point are the neo-psych bands...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues