ScienceNV — Last Album before the End of Time
((Not on label) no#, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01ScienceNV (say "science envy," nothing to do with NV, Nevada...) is a San Francisco Bay Area band, of which the four members all work in scientific or mathematical endeavors whenever they are not making music; this is their third release, all instrumental, the follow-up to 2010's Pacific Circumstances. The new album kicks off with an impressive classical cover, none other than a nine minute version of Gustav Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War" from The Planets. Yeah, everybody's done that, from Love Sculpture to King Crimson and many more, but this one's different, with a long section of their own creation starting at about three minutes in, eventually transitioning to a blistering guitar rockout before going back to the Holst theme. The floating ambient "Cold Sleep" is another standout, recalling Terry Riley and some of Djam Karet's more dark ambient material, though embellished with several hauntingly beautiful and melodic guitar solos. "The Ring Cycle" is a fifteen minute, five part opus grandis that covers a lot of territory over its duration, kicking off with the hard rocking "Titan," bearing some vague 70s style Crimsoid tendencies, then moving into the beautifully acoustic guitar propelled "Iapetus," overlaid with a powerfully melodic dual-guitar solo, before shifting into the remaining sections before coming back to a reprise of "Titan." The eight-plus minute closer "Atmosphere of the Mind" launhes as a multi-sectional classical piece augmented by a string trio that eventually starts jumping all over the stylistic map, into folk, jazz and progressive rock territories. That's where the disc should end, but for some reason, the band thought it was a good idea to put an 'indexed' version of the first four sections of "The Ring Cycle;" it chops off abruptly right where the "Titan Reprise" would have started. Why? That said, this is an excellent album from beginning to end, and one that most readers should thoroughly enjoy.
Related artist(s): ScienceNV
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more