Rebuilding the Rights of Statues — Watch Out! Climate Has Changed, Fat Mum Rises...
(Modern Sky M-035, 2009, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2010-07-01
The band with the awkward name has released an album with a name even more awkward. The band is generally called Re-TROS, and I'll call the album Watch Out. Since their 2005 release (Cut Off!) contained only six tracks, this is their first full-length effort, and it's a dark and smoky affair, reminiscent of Joy Division, Gang of Four, Television, and the like. The uncompromising music consists mostly of a bass / guitar / drums trio, with the male / female vocals of guitarist Hua Dong and bassist Liu Min contributing the most distinctive aspect of the band's style. Hua's Byrne-like declamations are dominant and insistent, while Liu's more melodic tones provide contrast and counterpoint. Occasional other instruments (including some outstanding avant-garde sax) add color, but the players are interesting enough that these are pure icing; the lack of a superstar guest like the debut's appearance by Brian Eno is not a problem. Hua's guitar playing is as distinctive as his singing, at times minimal and rhythmic, at times howling feedback; Liu's bass is equally versatile, sometimes fuzzed and insistent, sometimes fluid and melodic. Drummer Ma Hui rounds out the trio with muscular parts that are full of unconventional accents and are sometimes modified and augmented with electronic effects. While the band's tempos and volume levels may vary, the atmosphere remains dark and moody. The lyrics are often elliptical, but full of menacing images and evocative phrases. An all-around outstanding release, one of the year's best.
Related artist(s): Rebuilding the Rights of Statues (Re-TROS)
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more