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

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

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
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


Previously in Exposé...

White Willow - Ignis Fatuus – This one was worth the wait! This new band from Norway plays a rich blend of folk and symphonic rock, sprinkled with a generous helping of classical influence. Fronted by the gorgeous female voice of...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues