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TRACK LIST: 1. Crop Circle Geometry 1:39 2. Tape Before Dawn 6:25 3. Faro Inspects the Borders 2:32 4. The Purple Life 4:10 5. The Circle After the Center 4:41 6. Last Train to Marrakesh 4:12 7. Before the Beginning 3:18 8. Fall Away 5:23 9. The Foundation Gives 5:00 10. Zap'n the Cap'n 2:22 11. In the Orange 7:01 12. Uzumaki 3:55 13. Valleyheart Bridge 6:44 14. Unseen Labors 4:56 15. Tawhiri 3:09 16. Soft Glass 5:14 17. The Fine Grey Morning 4:14 Eric Wallack - acoustic & electric guitars, upright bass, keyboard; percussion; flute, saxophone, & pocket trumpet Greg Segal - fretted & fretless guitars, electric bass; percussion; recorder
Prolusion. "Asleep Or Something Else" was created as a result of the collaboration between Greg Segal and Eric Wallack and is the most recent release of the Phantom Airship label (owned by Greg). There are three more Greg Segal-related materials on ProgressoR, and all of them are large. If you wish to acquaint yourself with the varied styles of Greg's creation, click >here, >here, and >here.
Synopsis. The 75-minute "Asleep Or Something Else" is an all-instrumental album, the destination of which is far from the commercial ways paved in the music universe. Ten out of the seventeen compositions on the album (1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, & 17: track list is placed above) are about quite an unusual and complex conglomerate of a few different genres and styles, among which prevail a guitar Art-Rock, Space-Fusion, Avant-garde, and symphonic Ambient. Here, most of the arrangements consist of the constantly developing interplay between solos of acoustic and electric guitars and passages of synthesizer flowing to the accompaniment of electronic percussion with and without the parts of bass and those of wind instruments. A few pieces feature solos of both electric and acoustic guitars, the latter of which, though, is the main soloing instrument on the album. A blend of guitar Art-Rock and World-Fusion with the pronounced elements of music of the East is presented on Before the Beginning and In the Orange (7 & 11), both of which are filled with amazing solos of varied wind instruments and those of acoustic guitar and are the most structured and beautiful compositions here. The best definition of music on The Purple Life (4), where there are only the wild improvised solos of pocket trumpet done on the background of slowly moving passages of synthesizer, would probably be Jazz-Ambient. Finally, here are pieces that were not fit to be included in this album, to say the least: Faro Inspects the Borders, Fall Away, Tawhiri, and Soft Glass (3, 8, 15, & 16). Apart from the pushbutton percussion, all of them feature exclusively random sounds and either looped or sequenced solos of the same chaotic nature, which, in its turn, is by no means the same as eclecticism. One may call all of this an experimental music, but not me. Such a random set of sounds etc that is present on each of the said four tracks is just Random music, which is not music, as a matter of fact.
Conclusion. Overall, "Asleep Or Something Else" is a very good and quite innovative album, but it's clear that some tracks here were 'created' by Greg and Eric just for fun. I believe serious music and fun to be incompatible.
VM: July 14, 2003
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