Ukab Maerd — The Waiting Room
(HC 016, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01Spelled backwards it's Dream Baku, a shaded reference to Djam Karet's A Night for Baku CD from about eight years ago. This is an improvisational project featuring founding DK members Chuck Oken and Gayle Ellett, playing analog, digital and modular keyboard synths, guitars, percussion, effects, processing and loops. On the first three of the four lengthy tracks, the duo is joined by none other than French electronic wizard Richard Pinhas on guitar loops. The general tone throughout is ambient and dreamy, with an adventurous and introspective bent borne of dark imagery and experimentation. Elements of the 24 minute opener "The Cave" are somewhat reminiscent of the more spacious DK moments from the Suspension and Displacement era, while the second and third cuts "White Light, No Heat" and "God's Elastic Acre" evoke a feeling closer to Pinhas' Iceland, the former with a strong undercurrent of positivity that belies the darkness that permeates the weird and twisted abstractions of the latter. Surprisingly, it's the closing track "Sati and the Trainman" – the one track that doesn't feature Pinhas at all, that is most reminiscent of the characteristic looping and spiraling electronic sequences of Heldon. All taken, this is an excellent and unpredictable electronic workout that offers fresh revelations with each spin.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more