Exposé Online banner

Volcano the Bear — Amidst the Noise and Twigs
(Beta-lactam Ring mt204a, 2007, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2008-10-01

Amidst the Noise and Twigs Cover art

In #34, I likened Volcano the Bear’s previous outing, Classic Erasmus Fusion, to the stranger parts of Ummagumma, and to a certain extent that comparison is still valid. There is an increased emphasis on song-like structures, though you can still find the stretches of odd noisemaking that have been the band’s modus operandi since I first heard them. And notice that I said “song-like structures” and not “song structures” – we’re still wandering out in the hinterlands of composition, where a verse can wander for hours without meeting a chorus and there is no bridge in sight. Some of the CD comes off as a really psyched up example of psych-folk, like the lost tapes Comus might have recorded if they had collaborated with Syd Barrett after eating a batch of Psilocybe mexicana, recovered by the Residents and manipulated almost beyond recognition. Which is to say it’s the most listenable VtB yet, full of interesting sounds juxtaposed and twisted, sometimes recognizably produced by conventional instruments, sometimes unidentifiable. There are also hints of the flavors of Middle Eastern and Balkan folk music plus some free jazz to round out the distinctive stew. The lovely (if uninformative) packaging consists of a bi-fold cardboard cover with four beautiful, vaguely disturbing surrealistic paintings; there is no booklet and no listings for credits at all, even for the graphic artist.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Volcano the Bear

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

When - Prefab Wreckage & Gynt – When is essentially a solo vehicle for Lars Pedersen (half of The Last James duo) in which he explores dark ambient realms. It's pretty hard to believe that this is the same guy who worked on...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues