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(52:11, MALS Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Welcome Mat of My Mind 3:37 2. Sneaking Suspicions 3:25 3. Envy Becomes a Motherfunker 1:27 4. Haters, Please 1:45 5. In Danger of Deceit 4:02 6. Heavy Thoughts Here My Friend 3:08 7. An Unhealthy Aversion to Tribe Mentality 1:11 8. Clique Clash or Friends As Foes 0:42 9. Gaining Steam As a Cordial Misanthrope 3:46 10. Regarding Jazz & White Women 1:20 11. March of the Dissidents 0:28 12. We're Not in Kansas Anymore 0:41 13. You Humor Me, Truly 0:37 14. Pretentious I 1:09 15. Nothin' Funny 'bout That 1:20 16. Depressed Russians in Space 2:36 17. Can't Take the Metal Outta Me 3:03 18. Falling Off the Evil Wagon 1:35 19. Conspirators Diatribe 2:42 20. Angry Robots 1:18 21. Down, But Hopeful 2:27 22. A Little Time Alone 0:54 23. Violent Wankery 1:21 24. Aggressive Repeat Offender 2:56 25. Reflecting Indecision 2:37 26. I Over U 0:24 27. Farewells Are Saddish 1:40 LINEUP: Jimmy Pitts – keyboards; theremin; guitars, bass Marco Minnemann – drums With: Joshua Thomson – saxophone Joe Deninzon – violin &: Several guitar and bass players
Prolusion. The multinational unit THE PITTS & MINNEMANN PROJECT was instigated by US composer and keyboardist Jimmy Pitts, who alongside German drummer Marco Minnemann and a vast array of guest performers made an album worth of music that, as described in the CD booklet, reflects the instigators mood swings over a period of a few months. The end result became the album "2l82b Normal" which was released through the Russian label MALS Records in the fall of 2012.
Analysis. The Pitts/Minnemann album is one of those constructions that is just as demanding to describe as it is to listen to. A start is to mention the fact that this is in fact a single piece of music. Now whether this is a single composition subdivided into 27 parts or if it is 27 pieces of music tied together by way of using a single continuing instrumental motif to lead from one part to the next is something I'm still not certain about even after several inspections of this album. What is certain is that variety is something of a keyword here. Minnemann gets to showcase his skills and versatility throughout. Steady beats, sophisticated patterns and off kilter rhythm constructions all have equal places here, albeit with more of a focus on the latter two. Gentle percussion details and smooth rhythm tapestries sit side by side with hard hitting dominating beats and frantic, explosive drum movements. Those fascinated by rhythms should have a field day with this disc for that aspect of it alone. Minnemann is an excellent drummer and he has been given ample room to document most if not all aspects of his repertoire. Pitts is understandably enough given just as much room if not even more so to showcase his talents as a composer and keyboardist. Up to and including using midi based bass and guitars. From purebred electronic excursions through gentle jazz and jazz rock, harder edged organ and guitar based prog to progressive metal and beyond. With symphonic excursions and several cases of freeform oriented inserts adding additional variety to the proceedings. There's even a slight left turn into slightly folk oriented waters in the part where Joe Deninzon is given room for his violin to soar. While the majority of the music performed arguably fits into jazz and jazz rock territories, there's just too much variety at hand to firmly place this album strictly into that context. When that has been said, there's also so much material here that comes across as improvisational in nature that despite the occasional ventures into styles such as progressive metal and avant-garde, I suspect that a taste for jazz rock and fusion is required to be able to enjoy this CD. But no matter where you'd desire to place this creation in terms of style, it is a challenging and demanding one. And a rewarding experience for those that manage to decode, comprehend and follow everything that's going on.
Conclusion. The Pitts/Minnemann Project has crafted a CD that should be of interest to most anyone with a taste for challenging, instrumental progressive rock of the kind that demands a lot from the listener. A certain taste for jazz rock and improvisational music is required, as well as an understanding and taste for variety that stretches from progressive electronic music to progressive metal within an overall arguable fusion context. I'd guess that fellow musicians might make out another key audience for a production of this kind, at least those among them who truly enjoy listening to musicianship of the highest quality.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: Agst 16, 2013
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