Exposé Online banner

Nels Cline / Andrea Parkins/ Tom Rainey — Downpour
(Victo cd 104, 2007, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2009-07-01

Downpour Cover art

There was no lack of insight at the 2006 Victoriaville festival where Wilco guitarist Nels Cline met with co-improvisers Andrea Parkins and drummer Tom Rainey for an explosive, heated exchange. The 37-minute title track is an oasis of challenges and discourse led by Cline’s legato jazz phrasing and Rainey’s metallics that pushes the coloring of the piece. Parkins' role at times is Fripp-like: adding audio angst step by step as guitars and drums soldier forward into crossfire. This trio is all about discordance and creepy-ass nightmares; the conversation is fragile and can break down without a moment’s notice. Parkins radio wave cycles connect one series of threads to another as the pathway gets a bit battered. Dis-similarly, on an untitled piece the trio seems more in the same mindset as cascading snowballs of tension are packed and released. The shredding even approaches a jet engine noise level which can literally fry the nerves. Rainey’s skill at creating cross tempos is heard about eight minutes into the track, cueing Parkins and Cline into an Arabic tinged theme. At times atmospheric and others textural, the improv appears more intuitive and insightful. The closing piece, “Moss, Bed,” sums up all the best attributes of the performance in a consolidated form: shorter, to the point, and effective. Even without the audience interaction, it’s not difficult to imagine the rewarding exhaustion for performer and listener at this special meeting.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Nels Cline, Andrea Parkins, Tom Rainey

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Round House - Jin.Zo-Ni.N.Gen & Wings to Rest – The Japanese five-piece Round House apparently never recorded a proper album during their existence in the late 70s, though two releases were cobbled together out of live tracks, demos, and some...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues