Sarcasme — Mirage
(Musea MP-3059, 2006, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01Maybe I'm just a little dense, but I'm not sure how a band that's been around for 12 years can be called young and new, even if this is their first release. That being said, I will admit that the first adjective that popped into my head when I heard this CD was "young." There's some intangible quality to the music that makes me think these are not mature veterans. This five-piece of dual guitars, flute, bass and drums makes me think of a French take on Camel, with some flavors of one of the less dramatic French bands (definitely not Ange), though of course lacking keyboards. Like Camel, the music is melodic, has a hint of blues (mostly in the guitar solos), and is not overly complex (and this Mirage is a fair bit less complex than Camel's Mirage). As such, it's pleasant enough to listen to, but doesn't ever really grab me. Most of the time, it's the bass work that stands out, executing busy fills between phrases and keeping things interesting while the guitars play chords. As I mentioned, the guitars solos tend to the bluesy side, often with a Knopfler-like clean tone, and even featuring a talk-box for an extended period on one track. The vocals are on the low-key side, never forceful or gruff, and are harmonized nicely. So I will retreat to one of the reviewer's stock assessments: this band shows much promise for the future, even if this release is not outstanding.
Related artist(s): Sarcasme
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
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