Exposé Online banner

Thinking Plague — A History of Madness
(Cuneiform Rune 180, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01

A History of Madness Cover art

Most music critics (and listeners too) tend to get caught up in the genre game when describing music. We think in terms of qualities like loud/soft, electric/acoustic, rocks/doesn’t. But there are other ways of describing music that are equally valid, though they may require a shift in thought patterns. The dichotomy I’m thinking of (that was brought to mind by listening to Thinking Plague) is hard to describe, but could be likened to the difference between a photograph and a moving picture. Most music based on popular forms (as opposed to academic) is like a photo in that it describes a single situation, presents a particular place, sometimes covering it from multiple angles (for example in the verse and chorus), but remaining on a set topic. A movie, on the other hand, usually presents a journey of some kind. There may be themes running through it, but where you end up is not where you started. Thinking Plague’s music is like that. The album is a journey from start to end, and you never pass by the same scene twice. Parts of it are manic and dissonant, as if you’re passing through a busy city; other parts are quiet and contemplative – a forest with a running stream. The journey is not always exciting – but what real journey is? You have to slow yourself down and listen carefully while you’ve got the chance, because a life without rest is exhausting, and something new is coming just around the bend.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): David Shamrock, Dave Kerman, Dave Willey, Thinking Plague

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bang on a Can - Music for Airports – Ambient music has come a long way since 1978 when innovator Brian Eno drafted his original experiment for use in large international airports. The intent was for passengers to feel good about boarding...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues