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Random Touch (USA) - 2002 - "Hammering On Moonlight"
(59 min, "Roadnoise")


*****
Tracklist:
1. Crazy In Blue 9:41
2. Drunken Parade 4:23
3. Metallic Atoms In a Cloud of Gas 2:59
4. Wall To Wall Shadows 3:49
5. Getting Your Way 3:49
6. The Deepness of Things 4:47
7. Hammering On Moonlight 7:28
8. Sounds Like Fun 1:37
9. Moonlight In My Veins 9:30
10. What do You Mean When You Wonder? 6:07
11. Fat Daddy-O 5:29

All tracks: by Random Touch.

Line-up:

Christopher Brown - miscellaneous percussion, drums;
vocals
James Day - keyboards
Joe Zymonas - Stick & bass 

Produced by C. Brown & J. Day.
Recorded by C. Brown
at "Angel Fetus" studios, Crystal Lake, IL.
Mastered by Scott Hull at "Classic Sound", NY.

Prologue. "Hammering On Moonlight" (which, most likely, means "Creating On Moonlight") is the third CD by Random Touch (see discography below). To be honest, I have never heard of this project until now.

The Album. Certainly, the band was named as Random Touch by no means at random. I had a presentiment about what kind of music awaits my ears on this album as soon as I read the band's name. In the CD booklet there is a quote by Freud's famous disciple and fellow psychiatrist, Carl Jung: "The creation of something new is not accompanied by the intellect but by the instinct acting from inner necessity", in which I more than merely doubt. (According to Freud, the author of the greatest absurdity in the history of mankind, all our life, as well as all our love, is just a set of fortuities raised to the power of nothing else but just chemical reactions inside our bodies. He would have better tried to write some novel that would be based exclusively on random ideas, characters, etc, without any interference in the process of writing from the direction of his intellect.) Well, I'd better get back to "the creation of something new". If the guys of Random Touch imply that their creation is completely innovative, they are mistaken, at least partially. There is another band on Earth (in NYC, to be precise), Escapade, who has performed music of a resembling character since 1995. The difference between these two bands lies in their approach to the creation of a random music (just kind of a random music, in fact). Escapade, whose music is always composing, performing, and recording live and on a spur of the moment, begin with the random chords and solos that, later, transform into quite a sensible fusion of Avant-garde, Spacey, and Symphonic textures despite the fact that all the arrangements-improvisations that form it are spontaneous. Random Touch creates their Avant-garde music in a studio and with the use of the most modern technologies. However, it doesn't matter much. What's central is that I find Random Touch's music not only very unusual, but also very intriguing, which, moreover, is distinctly original despite some similarities between it and that by Escapade. The structures, that the band's music consist of, are neither fluid, like those in Escapade, nor stagnate, like those in the 'musical constructions' by the so-called sound sculptors and sound designers. These structures are also by no means amorphous. Since I am not able to define their musical status, I'll simply call them unstable, like those in neutrino. While the latter can be stabilized only by a very specific magnetic disturbance, those on "Hammering On Moonlight" will look less abstractly only after several repeated listens to the album. Nevertheless, I like more those compositions on the album that look more structured and, at the same time, sound richer than the others. Apart from the album's opening track, Crazy In Blue, all of such pieces are bunched up in the second half of the CD: Hammering On Moonlight, Sounds Like Fun, Moonlight In My Veins, What do You Mean When You Wonder, and Fat Daddy-O (7, 8, 9, 10, & 11). The real (or normal, if you will) solos and passages of synthesizers and piano are featured only on these tracks. However, the drum and various percussion sections, along with bass guitar and Stick solos, - all of which are outstandingly diverse and masterful, - play a prominent role on almost all of the tracks on the album. The heavy riffs and harsh solos of Stick that are present on a few of the album's compositions sound not unlike those of electric guitar. The first three of the said five pieces are remarkable by all means, and two of them, the album's title track and Moonlight In My Vein, are undoubtedly the best tracks here. By the way, Crazy In Blue is the only track on the album that can be regarded as song. Christopher Brown's vocals on it are both unusual and very impressive despite the fact that (or maybe exactly because of) he sung through the sound processor, which features the function of distortion. The other two tracks with lyrics, Walls to Wall Shadows and The Deepness of Things (4 & 6), are, in fact, just 'narrative' pieces, both of which are marked with the worst instrumental accompaniment on the album. While all three of the remaining trac

Summary. Even if these guys would have really created this album 'randomly' as a whole (which isn't true, of course), I would say that they, nevertheless, discovered inviolable laws there where are seems to be no place for any laws at all. I have listened to "Hammering On Moonlight" already a few times (running!). But while I still didn't get accustom to this music completely, I find it more and more attractive with each successive listen. The remembrance of marvelous difference between the geometry of Euclid and that of Lobatchevsky is inevitable for me in the cases like this, though, of course, the Avant-garde Random Touch are by no means the band of Fifth Element. In that way, highly, I can recommend this album only to the lovers of experimental Avant-garde music.

VM. August 21, 2002


Random Touch discography:

1999 - "Unautomate"
2001 - "Places We Go" (2CD)
2002 - "Hammering On Moonlight"


Related Links:

Random Touch: http://www.randomtouch.com/


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