Exposé Online banner

Xixxo — Down the World
(Halodjinn BDXOC1, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01

Down the World Cover art

This five-piece from Massachusetts might be familiar to some who saw them open for Gong on their recent swing through New England. At the center of their sound are the soulful vocals of Lizzette Xixxo (pronounced zik'zoh), who brings an intense warmth and unique character to the band's multifaceted sound, sounding more than a hint like The Motels' Martha Davis. Musically, influences seem to be coming in from all quarters, a little neo-prog, a bit of Crimson, hints of Rush, neo-psych, even Zappa touches surface on occasion, as well as bits of mainstream pop and rock. At times the mix is served up in a swirling near-psychedelic maelstrom of effects, at others they dwell in the more conventional prog territory of ever-shifting time and key changes, yet Lizzette's voice adds a certain level of accessibility to even the most complex of their tunes ("Drown" for example), masking an underlying layer of twisted and convoluted rhythms. Because of this, their music tends to deliver on a number of levels, dependent on what the listener is looking for. Keyboards and Guitars alternate power and passion, support and drive, ambience and disconnection, while the rhythm section of Ed Lanouette (bass) and Yuri Zbitnoff (drums) keep the compositional framework in a constant state of forward motion. Of special note is the twenty-five minute five-part suite titled "Aliens," that shows Xixxo at their most spacy and ambient, as well as at their most hard edged and intense, and all points between. This is a difficult album to categorize, stylistically it's all over the spectrum, yet in every case the band's compositional approach is highly original and the arrangements, playing, and singing are equally spirited. One that I can definitely recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Xixxo

More info
http://soundcloud.com/core-redonnett/sets/xixxo-down-the-world

Latest news

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

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Thomas - Mirror Man – From a dizzy blurring pastiche of commentary and cadence comes a curious project, extremely artsy with obscure socio-overtones. The former lead vocalist of Pere Ubu, David Thomas has assembled one of...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues