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(43:46, 'Trip Lava')
TRACK LIST: 1. Hit Single 4:37 2. Hi Hat 3:15 3. Glass Disco 1:53 4. Flying Tremolo 5:34 5. Gallop Light 3:09 6. Flange Rock 3:03 7. Kung Fu 0:50 8. Floating 3:17 9. Sirens 4:22 10. Glass Disco-2 2:25 11. Gallop 2:04 12. Squish 4:23 13. Electro Glass Climax-2 4:54 SOLO PILOT: Joel Lee – all instruments
Prolusion. TRIP LAVA is the creative vehicle for the US-based multi-instrumentalist and composer Joel Lee, who started writing material for this project in 2005. Two years later the finished product was issued on the CD named "Oddball in the Corner Pocket".
Analysis. Trip Lava is an aptly named project, especially as the first of the two words gives a pretty good indication as to the contents of this outing described as "experimental, improvised instrumental rock" on the CD-cover. As far as influences go, Lee mentions progressive rock in general and a score of artists known for their experimental creations on his homepage: Frank Zappa, Kate Bush and Sun Ra are three examples from a rather extensive list. The overall sound and expression on this creation make me think along quite different patterns in terms of musical similarities though – first and foremost the more experimental Krautrock bands from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s as well as some of the more far out guitar-based space rock I've encountered. In other words, these jams are challenging encounters. While some constants keep the individual segments from deteriorating into pure chaotic noisescapes, as well as the mostly constant presence of melodic elements, and keep this excursion away from the noise exploration territories of musical ventures – there is a great deal of dissonances and disharmonies to be found. Clear cut melodies are rare; fragmented melodic elements contrasting with each other in disharmonic disarrays are a much more common expression. The guitars, drones and samples used rarely remain constant, some slowly and others abruptly evolving, changing or disappearing out of sight – to be replaced by new sonic patterns and textures. Ranging from sparse segments with just bass and drums present to richly layered soundscapes with multiple layers of sound placed on top of bass and drums, there's a great variety to the creations at hand, but the stylistic expression is always firmly placed within the more freaked out parameters of experimental, psychedelic rock. Personally I did find this venture to be somewhat lacking in cohesion – the chaotic elements dominate just a tad more than I personally have a feel for, but for fans of this style of music there's no doubt that this will be regarded as a fine production.
Conclusion. "Oddball in the Corner Pocket" is a highly challenging venture into the freakier sides of psychedelic, experimental rock of the instrumental variety, and an album that should appeal to fans of experimental Krautrock as well as freaked out psychedelic explorations. This is a creation for advanced listeners of the kind who appreciate hearty servings of disharmonies, dissonances and chaotic soundscapes.
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