The Tear Garden — The Secret Experiment
(Sub-Conscious Communications sub 033, 2007, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2008-01-01The Legendary Pink Dots and Skinny Puppy have been recording music on and off as The Tear Garden since 1986. The Secret Experiment is their eighth release, arriving five years after their previous Eye Spy with My Little Eye. The Tear Garden is a collaborative effort with Skinny Puppy typically providing the musical ideas and the LPDs the lyrics. You will not experience the harsh visceral electronics of Skinny Puppy nor will you hear the structured songs of the Dots. Instead The Tear Garden creates a hybrid that can be thought of as an upbeat Skinny Puppy or a darker LPD. Following Skinny Puppy's penchant for science fiction and horror movies, a number of the songs are in this genre. Perhaps the best song is the 15 minute album closer "A Gift of Knowledge" that combines movie and radio samples, sweeping chords, ambient electronics and rhythms, and Edward Ka-Spel's unique recitation. The album artwork looks like a worn out and dog-eared CD case that has been left in the lab and stained repeatedly with various substances. There are little demons crawling out of beakers and flasks reminding me of that disturbing animated Scion ad seen in movie theaters this summer with the Deviants slaughtering the Sheeple. Five years is too long to wait between Tear Garden releases, we can only hope that it won't take so long for their next one.
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
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more