Friday, July 5, 2013

Oxygene8 Loop1 2012


One of the few improvisational recordings to attack the cerebral and visceral foundations on equal footing. The Sonic rapture.
Brent Black / @CriticalJazz

An expansive or spatial differential where improvisational flights of fancy are merged within one composition on a seemingly continuous loop. The gorgeous cover art may bring memories of Jean Michel Jarre but make no mistake this ensemble shifts dynamics on the fly to a foot to the floor intensity while never losing a lyrical sense of flow thanks to the conceptual ingenuity of touch guitarist Linda Cushma.

The land of rhythm and groove is rich with ambient layers of harmonic texture along with a smoldering underbelly of funk rock intent to drive a progressive rock infusion into a new and welcome space. Wordless vocals are not used for effect but as merely another weapon in the arsenal of a forward thinking improvisational collective. While Cushma shoulders the tremendous weight of taking on the meat of this extraordinary musical muscle she shows an amazing versatility and ability to marry sounds and silence into an enchanting discovery of sonic delight.

Improvisational progressive rock? Ambient techno jazz? Critics, record executive and fans can hash out what ever arbitray tags that may make them feel better. Labels are for cans of soup, Oxygene 8 Loop 1 is music for the heart and soul.

4 Stars

Personnel: Linda Cushma: vocals, Chapman stick, bass, loops, guitar synth; John Humphrey: bass; Joe Myers: guitar; Tim Alexander: drums; Fatimah Halim: vocals; Claudio Cordero: guitar; Steve Parrish: composer, producer.