Tuner — Totem
(Unsung UNSUNG0501001, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Tuner is the two-man power group featuring Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) and Marcus Reuter (Centrozoon). Mastelotto is at home playing modern electric percussion while Reuter is better known as a prolific ambient player with Ian Buddy in their series of successful tone poems. Together the two have gestated a unique hybrid of latter Crimson moods, jam band, and techno grooves. The disc begins with the funky “Flinch,” where the players immediately establish a rhythmic dialogue within a clever sampling phrase. Reuter handles Hammond organ in parallel by creating a spacious chordal foundation for steady grooves in the vein of Martin, Medeski and Wood. The duo is keen to create mystery-laden tones heavy with imbedded samples that have been morphed into malleable shapes for them to infuse their song constructs. The best example of this is on “The Morning Tide Washes Away”; it features female spoken word and sampled vocalese from Sirenée. The duo relied on Albeton Live software to manipulate their guest star’s performances into not necessarily recognizable performances. “Better Take Your Head Off” begins with some light beats before evolving into s grinding set of clanging percussion. “Kiss the Earth” relies on a downward facing chord progression that carries with it a lush theme and light back beats. Ending the collection of ten collaborations is “Dexter Ward” from the HP Lovecraft novel about obsessive desire. In lieu of new King Crimson material, I find this recording adequately fills the void.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more