Monkey Puzzle Trio — The Pattern Familiar
(Slowfoot SLOCD025, 2014, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-11-16Monkey Puzzle Trio is a project featuring bassist Nick Doyne-Ditmas (of Crackle and Pinski Zoo), drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat, Massacre, and others) and voice / electronic artist Viv Corringham. The Pattern Familiar picks up where their 2010 debut White World left off, presenting a mix of spirited explorative improvisation and vocal / lyrical experimentation awash in unusual effects and electronics. In addition, Doyne-Ditmas leads a small four-piece horn section of cornet / flugelhorm / slide trumpet / euphonium, trombone, soprano and tenor saxes which augment the primary three-piece improvising unit via overdubs, adding additional power and punch to the proceedings. While bass and drumming present a suitable backdrop of free improvisation, sometimes drifting into what might even be loosely composed material, it’s Corringham’s voice and lyrics, fed through various loop pedals and effects that gives these twelve tracks their unique character, sometimes twisted and chaotic, sometimes larger than life, and sometimes downright annoying if the listener isn’t in the mood for what she happens to be doing at the moment – but it’s always interesting. I suppose it has been said, if one listens to something very strange enough times over, it eventually becomes normal, and so it is with this. It’s Corringham’s vocal and lyrical contribution for most listeners will be the make-or-break, though if one finds value in this sort of purely immersive experimentation, Monkey Puzzle Trio will be a sure bet.
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
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
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more