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Zolder Ellipsis — Entropy Override
(Lizard 0176, 2019/2022, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-06-28

Entropy Override Cover art

Entropy Override was originally released as a solo album called Zolder Ellipsis by Tom Aldrich. At some point he realized that it was really more like a band effort, so it’s been rechristened with the new title and Zolder Ellipsis as the band name. While Aldrich says the music was composed as “an attempt to reverse-engineer Frank Zappa’s last, monumental Synclavier opus Civilization: Phaze III,” it grew into something that went far beyond a Zappa influence. The result is a stunningly good album that has elements of progressive rock, RIO, free improvisation, and more. Aldrich plays keyboards, and he’s joined by Sean Moran (guitar), Chad Langford (electric and acoustic bass), Théo Lanaou (drums), and Ivo Bol (sampler and electronics), and they do a superb job of bringing Aldrich’s challenging compositions to life. These range from brief bursts of frenetic energy bouncing between meters and rhythmic ideas like “Zap Gun,” “Q+A,” and “Magnetic Objects,” to multi-part jagged prog-rock like “Craig Gets Reanimated,” to freaky disjointed jams like “Android Coronation Ball.” And then there’s “The Antidote Game,” which has a section of disjointed spacy funk jamming, almost like a Mwandishi outtake. In spite of the variety, Entropy Override hangs together as a coherent album, and while it’s likely too dissonant and angular for listeners who prefer melodic music, it has a lot to offer for fans of King Crimson or RIO.

Filed under: Reissues, 2022 releases, 2019 recordings

Related artist(s): Zolder Ellipsis

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