Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dreamcolour - Inner Worship (Stunned Records CS)

Wow, what a month... have been sliding into this new teaching position like velcro on concrete. Trying my best just to keep my head screwed on straight and make a point of actually going back up to my apartment and grabbing some time with yours truly... been tough to rally in those situations though. Now that things are settling down a bit though, and some semblance of a groove is taking shape I figured it's a good time to get back into making some time for some of the amazing stuff I've been receiving lately. Had to start with this one, as it represents two of my recent aural habits--though Stunned surely is more than a habit at this point... a lifestyle perhaps? Still, the merging of Stunned and Dreamcolour makes all too much sense, and Dreamcolour's Alex Gray fortuitously got in touch with me around the time of this release to drop me a copy of an Earjerk tape they did too (surely to come soon). Got to talking, and now Alex is gonna be doing a solo effort for Wet Merchants, so all's well that starts well eh?

As for this particular victim, it fits right in both with the Stunned and Dreamcolour modes of operation. For those who don't know from Dreamcolour, this is a pretty mega group of like-minded musical thinkers. Seems like a rotating cast too, pulling anyone in who's willing to partake in the free gloop of the group, which pulls psychedelic sheets over the eyes of post-Fire jazz squall. Almost like some Alan Silva orchestra or something, only with less virtuosity and thus a more frayed and unexpected sound. Sort of an Arkestra meets LAFMS situation, never ungrooving but rarely just soothing. And at an hour in length there's plenty of room to slip down into their world.

This is especially the case on the half hour opening, "Praying." Starting with a clattering and moist opening, the piece glides back and forth from stretched landscapes to bubbling masses of fertile waters. Actually, these distinct parts are quite apparent throughout, the group changing angles with quick flicks of the wrist, a capability aided by Sean McCann's (that's right) production, which treats each mode in panoramic color. Actually, the whole Roll Over Rover crew is in here, with Dave "Old Softy" McPeters offering some upright bass and Stewart "Ugly Husbands" Adams on guitar and recorder. Them being alongside fellow explorers Rob Magill, whose saxophone is an important and substantial presence, Natalie Alyse's vocals, Danny Larussa's electric bass, Maura on drums and Teddy Skupien on guitar. It's quite a lineup, and they play together with a surprising delicacy and group interplay. This is no all out cruise fest, but a real group, playing together and off one another in a sort of a careful abandon.

Flip side splits the difference between "Worshiping" and "Repenting," though with all this prayer and worship I'm not quite sure what there is to repent for other than a swell time had. The former of the two sweeps in blustery style, with Magill's sax drifting in the wind with Aylerian attack. A real full blown one here, hollowed out like some clay sphere made for dripping richly colored paints into drop by drop. Rainbow spelunking material that starts to gray up as it descends deeper. And then there's "Repenting," which burns hot like the magma found underneath. Total grooving, churtlting go of it here, with Magill's melodic fragments keeping it taught as can be whilet he backing throbs and retracts in superheated tandem, like some head-nodding fusion group. Amazing, and sure to clear out any of the bad karma you've built up over the course of the record. Do I sense a Love Supreme arch here? Me thinks me does. And when has that ever been a bad thing?

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