Exposé Online banner

Virgil Moorefield — Distractions on the Way to the King's Party
(Rune 56, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-05-01

Distractions on the Way to the King's Party Cover artMoorefield was a guitarist (one of many), then drummer, with Glenn Branca's ensemble for many years. This is his first album in a decade and his first for Cuneiform. He plays drums here and did all of the album's compositions and arrangements; his ensemble consists of three guitars, bass guitar, alto and tenor saxes, trumpet and trombone. The music here could best be described as angular rock with a fairly strong jazz and neo-classical content, filled with complex understructures, where the brass and saxes handle most of the melodics (and occasional dissonance, giving a slight Crimsonesque-industrial feel to some of the tunes), while the guitars typically spin a web of looping interwoven arpeggios just under the surface, not unlike those of Fripp's Crafties, yet the end result here is wildly different. Occasionally one or more of the guitars will follow the melody, while the brass plays around in the understructure, essentially trading places. Meanwhile, Moorefield and bassest Hideki Kato are busy at the bottom end defining frames and offering undercurrents that ripple all the way to the surface. I've listened to this album fifty times if I've listened to it once, and each time some new element within the music reveals itself to me, especially on the more uptempo tracks like "Healing Power," "Seelisberg," and "Untitled." "Funk Trouble" offers some instant appeal with an almost-familiar refrain, punctuated by several improvised free-jazz-funk variations. "Noise is the Price We Pay for Signal" erupts with a clear reminiscence of Starless period Crimson, with the saxes and horns wandering in a firestorm of noisy dissonance, later joined by the guitars, while the drums and bass riff furiously behind it all - this may well be the album's most challenging track, as things only seem to come together briefly near the end. "Summer Walk" is another exception, perhaps the track that best exemplifies the neo-classical influences here. All taken, this is an outstanding release that I'm sure many would enjoy, one which will certainly be among my top ten picks for 1994.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 3, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Virgil Moorefield

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Philharmonie - Nord – Originally formed as an electric guitar trio, this French band led by ex-Shylock fretman Fredric L'Epee has expanded to a four-piece with the addition of Jean-Louis Boutin on drums for the release of...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues