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

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jackhammer Trio - Sonarchy and Synergy – Seattle’s answer to the NY Downtown jazz scene is part fusion and jamming entourage, but also a tight trio too. Rik Wright is the guitarist in these ten work-outs, and his style reminds me of...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues