Exposé Online banner

The Residents — Mush-Room
(MVD 6074A, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-04-01

Mush-Room Cover artThis productive unit of avant-gardists has been plying their trade for over 40 years now, and still, nobody outside their inner circle knows their true identity or how even many members there are. They still manage to come up with some surprisingly original material, although my own interest in them surged during their mid-to-late 70s heyday and pretty much ebbed after the mid-80s. But I still can’t resist dropping in every few years to find out what the heck they are up to. This time I was pleasantly surprised – not that I didn’t expect to be. Mush-Room is a mostly instrumental outing, the musical backing for a dance and theater performance by Grace Ellen Barkey & Needcompany that incorporates a fairly wide array of influences, most prominently east and southeast Asian ideas mixed in with future primitive percussion, classical explorations, and studio manipulations, all emblazoned with that trademark Residents weirdness – music that’s seemingly related to no existing genre other than the one of their own creation. There are just short of a dozen cuts, each of which stands strong on its own, and conveys an other-worldliness that defies comparisons. The vocals are sparse and essentially wordless, and never get in the way of the overall concept, which is never too ambitious and forced (as some of their work has been). The long and the short of it: this is a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): The Residents

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

5uu's - Hunger's Teeth – Ever wonder what some of the classic progressive bands would sound like today had they maintained their edge and not grown lazy and comfortable and become caricatures of themselves? Enter the...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues