(Edgetone)

“Music made of wood, wind and wire”, played by Dan Ake (lobro, spike, 2×6), Ronnie Camaro (bass, vocals), Peter J. Martin (piano, cajon & bass drum with left & right foot respectively, vocals, balinese gangsa, long-boy, proto) and Molly Tascone (vocals, recorder, glockenspiel, steel drum, triangle). You can see for yourselves that this is not a rock group. “Once around the butterfly bush” is indeed a pseudo-Partchian structure, at times sounding like a strange kind of operetta, wholly based on the superimposition of polyrhythms and whose Indonesian influence and bastard minimalist complexion evolves until, in certain circumstances, we’re treated to complex arrangements recalling entities like early 5 UU’s and Motor Totemist Guild. Eddie The Rat highlight a sort of atavistic dependence on beat, here eviscerated in multiple ways without becoming a reason to overlook the compositional aspect. The unusual orchestration, which mixes the dynamics of a gamelan and the nervousness of avant rock, contributes to our embarassment in finding a starting point for definitions. Pulse rules, and everything follows accordingly; patterns that could be considered as ancient are modified in new combinations and meanings, while the piece’s overall architecture makes sure that room for improvisation is more or less inexistent. At the same time, the vocal arrangements mesh the luxurious and the primal in surprising mixtures. Like the interlocking figures that animate this score, we can treat “Once around the butterfly bush” like a rough kind of mandala, noticing its single geometric shapes until the picture is complete.

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