Exposé Online banner

Trap — Beyond the Status Quo
(Musea Gazul GA 8600 AR, 1997, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01

Beyond the Status Quo Cover art

The swirling multicolored psychedelic booklet cover belies the playful avant strangeness of this, the first release on Gazul, Musea's new side-label for more 'challenging' music. Trap is Gary Parra, former drummer with PFS, and Cartoon before that, along with Spaceship Eyes members Don Falcone (synths, bass and trombone), Karen Anderson (voice) and John Kuntz (guitar, mandolin, ukelele), as well as former Cartoon / PFS members Craig Fry (violin), Herb Diamant (sax, flute, bassoon), and Scott Brazeal (piano, synth), plus several other guests. We reviewed a very early demo version of this a couple years ago, before all the arrangements had been fleshed out and mixed down, and before a couple of poorer tracks were dropped in favor of some newer ones that were far more interesting. What we have now is a strange and shimmering gem that defies easy description and categorization. A volume of influences went into these twelve tracks, some pretty overt like Zappa and King Crimson (titles give that away), some not as obvious (free jazz, classical, Happy the Man, Henry Cow, Pink Floyd, Euro-folk, John Cage, and the list goes on...), but all are well assimilated into this wild party stew that Parra has concocted. No two songs here even sound like they were made by the same band, let alone off the same album. Each track has, above all, its very own personality, which gives the overall effort a strong sense of variety — maybe too much at times, but nothing a few listens couldn't take care of. In all this is a fairly accessible album — the humorous elements of tracks like "Double Barrel @ 184," "Romanian Circus," and "Consecutive Rhymes" and the vague familiarity with "Zappazone" and "Crimson Moon" help to break the ice while the others in between are sinking in subconsciously. A fun release that all should check out.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 13, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Trap

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cul de Sac - Ecim – This four-piece from Massachusetts offers a free-wheeling neo-psychedelic sound that finds itself at home somewhere between current bands bands like Porcupine Tree, and the experimental music of...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues