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.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more