Exposé Online banner

The Cheebacabra — Exile in the Woods
(Makrosoft MS 0013, 2006, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01

Exile in the Woods Cover art

The Cheebacabra is a project driven by keyboardist and producer Cheeba, where funky grooves meet overtly synthetic melodic interplay and a cool jazz feel over a steady, mostly programmed drum beat. While much of this could have been attempted with a single keyboardist, plenty of studio time, and countless layers of overdubbing (with predictably sterile results), Cheeba wisely brought in other musicians to breathe real life into the project – eleven in fact, a full half of them playing analog synthesizers (although I’m reasonably certain all are never playing at once), with the rest contributing guitars, bass, violin, trumpet, and even some real drums too, although these players are utilized more sparingly as the need calls. Make no mistake, with six synth players on hand, these twelve tracks are synthetic to the core, with the other instruments added as embellishments, mostly in a lead melodic role. This is a fairly wild ride from the top side, with splashy and colorful synths in animated conversation over the driving grooves, but it generally maintains a steady beat from one track to the next, so there is a bit of sameyness to the proceedings after a while. The standout tracks like “Secret Agenda,” “March of the Biomorphs,” and “Levitan’s Eye” come early in the program, while the twelve minute closing title track is probably the least interesting: four measures of one thing, then switch to four measures of something else, on and on predictably until the fade. Still, the disc is adventurous and captivating.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): The Cheebacabra

More info
http://cheebacabra.bandcamp.com/album/exile-in-the-woods

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Source - All Along This Land – The Source is a Los Angeles based four-piece of g/k/b/d with keyboardist and primary composer Aaron Goldich assuming the vocal duties. They are a prog rock band with ambitious aims, as evidenced by...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues