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

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...

Jasun Martz - The Pillory – Mellotron fans take note. Unique and uncompromising music, this masterpiece of neo-classical avant-garde rock stands alone. Martz began composing "The Pillory" around 1976, assembling his 40...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues