Exposé Online banner

Moraine — Groundswell
(Moonjune MJR066, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-10-01

Groundswell Cover art

Far from just another Moraine album, this Seattle based five-piece is evolving by leaps and bounds with each new release, and Groundswell offers ample evidence of this growth. The band today includes founder and guitarist Dennis Rea (also covering electronics and Mellotron), James DeJoie on baritone sax and flute, electric violinist Alicia DeJoie, eight-string Stick bassist Kevin Millard, and new since the band’s last release – drummer Tom Zgonc. The compositions, with the exception of two pieces by persons outside the band, are written individually by Rea and James and Alicia DeJoie, excellent composers all three. The material covers a lot of ground, from the thrashy and bluesy rocker “Gnashville,” to the impressive chamber-like mood piece “Spiritual Gatecrasher” that slowly evolves into some inspired but measured improvisation over its seven minute duration. Most of what’s here tends to exist somewhere between the worlds of jazz-rock fusion (with some strong hints of early Mahavishnu, probably more because of the powerful use of electric violin leads than anything else) and a complex crimsoid geometric rock approach, though the unusual instrumentation used to reach these ends offers a textural originality rarely heard, exemplified on the Rea-penned second track “Skein,” and the busy and brilliantly complex “Synecdoche.” Throughout one can hear eastern Asian threads blended within the melodic fabric, more on tracks like “Fountain of Euthanasia” and “In That Distant Place” but to a lesser extent on several other numbers. Opener “Mustardseed” starts off slow paced but quickly moves into a world of noisy free rock improv while maintaining its melodic drive. Measure by measure, this is an outstanding group of players and composers that impress at every level.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): James DeJoie, Moraine, Dennis Rea

More info
http://dennisrea-moonjune.bandcamp.com/album/groundswell

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hectic Watermelon - The Great American Road Trip – Hectic Watermelon is less a band than a solo project built around the talents of guitarist John Czajkowski. For this album he's assembled a capable trio to back him that includes bass (Harley...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues