Exposé Online banner

The Spanish Donkey — Raoul
(RareNoise RNR054, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-03

Raoul Cover art

Raoul and his donkey walk along a dusty road under the searing Spanish sun. Raoul thinks he’s the boss — after all, he’s the human, and the donkey is, well, just a donkey. But Raoul is very much mistaken. Everything he does has been planned by the donkey, who subtly manipulates the man into doing his bidding. But maybe they are things Raoul would have done anyway. Certainly the donkey believes himself to be the boss. Little does Raoul know that The Spanish Donkey is three entities in one, a hairy trinity of musical force, consisting of the Drummer (Mike Pride), the Saft (Jamie, keyboards), and the Holy Guitar (Joe Morris). The Donkey is not a cruel master, though its whims sometimes bring darkness. Morris assaults the senses with wailing feedback, cascading chaos, skittering bolts of furious noise warped beyond recognition by electronic devices. Pride exercises no restraint in his percussive assault, and any resemblance to patterns, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Saft occasionally tempts the listener with something that sounds like an organ, but pulls back from normalcy by turning it into a growling beast, roaring, growling, eschewing such trivialities as keys and chords. Three long tracks, the shortest just under 16 minutes, the longest over 30, make a strong entry into the field of free noise rock, though “rock” is used more as a default for “loud electric music” than a meaningful stylistic description. You could as easily say “free noise jazz,” which maybe wasn’t a thing before, but is now. In any case, Raoul gives us three talented musicians following their restless spirits take them whithersoever (which is a word I always wanted to use in a review) they will.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): The Spanish Donkey, Jamie Saft

More info
http://rarenoiserecords.com/jukebox/the-spanish-donkey/RAOUL/

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Versailles - Le Trésor de Valliesres – This latest offering from the French four-piece Versailles takes the spirit of the classic French symphonics (Ange, Mona Lisa, etc.) and dresses it in a modern suit of heavy armor. Vocalist Guillaume...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues