Mats / Morgan — The Music or the Money...
(Ultimate Audio UAE DISC 7, 1997, 2CD)
by Rob Walker, Published 1998-07-01
This Swedish duo may be known to some for their featured participation in the 1991 Zappa's Universe performance. On this new 2CD set, Mats Öberg, on keyboards, and Morgan Ågren, on drums, each give us a full disc of their own Zappa-influenced compositions. Though they are joined by four other musicians to flesh out the band, the focus is most definitely on the substantial talents of the two leaders. Approximating at times the stylistic approach of Mike Keneally, the songs here swing from complex, twisted rock structures to more atonal, avant-garde compositions very reminiscent of Zappa's synclavier work. The 23 pieces are almost all instrumentals; the occasional vocal instantly recalls Keneally's hilariously absurdist musings. Full of unorthodox sounds and sudden shifts of tempo and texture, the music is almost disconcerting in its variety and density. The performances of the two principles are exceptional from a technical standpoint, if somewhat dry and unemotional. The massive 2CD collection therefore tends to come across as an avant-rock tour-de-force, and the sterile, alien textures and sheer quantity of notes can be a bit overwhelming at first. Digested in smaller doses, however, there is certainly a lot here that fans of both Zappa's synclavier pieces and Keneally's eccentric songs should find interesting.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more