Exposé Online banner

The Instigations — Tales of the Unexplained
((Not on label) , 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-07-18

Tales of the Unexplained Cover artThis is what happens when an artist has way too many diverse influences and no producer around to say “do this, no you can’t do that” and keep said artist on a single path of some semblance of commercial viability. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, and in fact here it works very well for eclectic listeners like myself who can appreciate a little bit of everything all juxtaposed. And for the artist it works as sort of a calling card: here is the full range of what I can do, take it or leave it. The Instigations, for the most part is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Owen Green, from Sherman Oaks, California. He wrote and played all the pieces, and produced it, but brought in other musicians to help round out some of the arrangements, primarily drums and additional percussion where needed, additional piano, organ, lead guitar and vocals. While the album is mainly an instrumental workout, one of the standout numbers is the world-influenced piece “Who You Are – So Far” featuring harmonizing female vocals singing in Hebrew, in a sort-of dark shoegazer-like atmosphere. “Theme of The Unexplained” is a somewhat introspective piece in a solid progressive rock vein featuring numerous sections over its three minute duration. “Emanations” features a strong world-jazz undercurrent with complex rhythms, not unlike Embryo, over which some playful melodic figures carry the moment. “The Thirteen Steel Horned Goats of Akbar” pits some unusual clanking percussion against some mysterious melodies played mostly on keyboards, again with a bit of middle eastern influence. Speaking of which, even more evident on the short two-minute vignette “Ibn X” where oud and hand percussion provide a solid rhythm undercurrent for a wandering synth melody. “Smart Monkey” plots a jazzy theme against an experimental backdrop of percussion and voice samples of the Indonesian ‘Kecak’ monkey dance, but twisted into knots, approached forward and backward and now in a barely recognizable form; the result is indeed very cool. The nine-minute closer “Presence of Mind” is the album’s longest cut, a multi-sectional introspective adventure of strangely wandering meter changes stewing in a nest of percussion, synths, guitar, bass and oud. All taken, there are a lot of unusual ideas presented across these fourteen tracks, manna from heaven for the adventurous listener.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): The Instigations

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Remy Stroomer - Different Shades of Dust – Young composer Remy Stroomer from the Netherlands admires Klaus Schulze and that can be heard in “Following Differences,” the first track. He chooses the same repeat in tones as Schulze does. His...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues