Exposé Online banner

Monkey Puzzle Trio — The Pattern Familiar
(Slowfoot SLOCD025, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-11-16

The Pattern Familiar Cover artMonkey 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.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Charles Hayward, Monkey Puzzle Trio

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Michael Mantler / Edward Gorey - The Hapless Child and Other Inscrutable Stories – It's a rare project that extracts elements of the written word and transfers them eloquently to an audio performance. Composer/trumpet player Michael Mantler's first major success with this...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues