Exposé Online banner

Robert Rich — Medicine Box
(SP022, 2011, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-10-26

Medicine Box Cover artFor around three decades, Robert Rich has been making music that defies categorization. After 200 albums (ok, maybe not that many!) one would think he has done everything and exhausted all ideas, but not so; with Medicine Box he is still finding fresh ideas in that seemingly endless creative pool. That’s not to say that his past works haven’t influenced this, but what comes forward here is a fresh approach employing a variety of ideas that circumvent many of his previous efforts, but present them in a new ways with reconstructed energy. Blending strong percussive elements of tribal and trance, along with deep bass pulses, sparse ethnic coloration, fragmentary melodies that play just under the surface, and floating textures via synths, cello and processed guitars that float within ambient sonic realms, there remains plenty of variety here from one track to the next. Guest vocalist Cheri Chuang adds wordless warmth to three of the album’s nine cuts, though her approach is different enough to give each of those a distinctly different flavor. Rich has a good sense of timing, and each piece is just long enough to make a concise musical statement yet not wear out its welcome. This does tend to the reflective and meditative side, but it’s not so far out in space as to put the listener to sleep; this is active instrumental music for a heightened listening experience but void of aggressive tendencies. Medicine Box is definitely a disc one will want to keep playing over and over.

Filed under: New releases, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Robert Rich

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ozric Tentacles - Vitamin Enhanced – This six-CD set contains the early works of the band from the years 1984-89, heretofore only available on six cassettes that together cost more than this boxed set. For those not yet familiar with the...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues