Gary Hill - Music
BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC: Petrophonics
Rune 137) If you are a fan of off kilter, instrumental prog
with jazzy overtones; do yourself a favor and check out this band.
The sound is really all their own, although comparisons to early
King Crimson are justified. This CD, their sixth, is a fine representation
of this awesome band, and a great starting point for the beginning
listener and a nice addition to the collection of the long time
lineup on this CD is Michael Bierylo,
Ken Field, Erik Lindgren
and Rick Scott.
A feeling of potential energy that is about to break loose begins
this cut. As it does break loose, the texture is that of a soundtrack
to a Peter Gunn/James Bond type of story with a great jazzy prog
riff that exudes all those action adventure type elements. The
cut drops down to a slower, smoother jazz type of texture for
a short time, then builds right back up. After a time, a repetitious
sort of mode fades down and brings the cut into a sedate, almost
orchestral reworking of the central themes. This carries on for
a short time until the earlier format takes the track again.
II: Sedate keys start this cut, and as the other instruments
join, it is in slow, quiet modes. Then, as if a dam breaks, the
tempo of the cut jumps rather drastically while the volume of
the music raises only slightly. The cut plays in quicker, jazzy
tones for a time, then drops back down. It then runs in an atmospheric
style for a brief time before jumping back to the earlier segment.
The song moves along these lines for a time, then dissolves down
into chaos. It is a dreamy, but disorienting world that takes
this movement. The earlier, faster modes, gain control again after
a time, and as the cut progresses, it drops to rather tribal rhythms
that form the basis of the fade down.
Hundred Cycles: Fast paced, almost Latin percussion textures
begin this one. As the other instruments join, it is in a slow
build up, sort of topping the mix. However, as the bass joins
in the texture really changes into a strong prog jam. This one
has some awesome musical performances on the part of everyone
as it weaves its way around a series of great melody lines.
Green: Chaotic, dissonant piano tones start this one out.
After a time, they seem to find their way in to more melodic patterns,
but again the cut moves into chaos. It begins to acquire another
nice melodic direction after a time, just to have it also dissolve
into chaos. This is the patter of the whole piece - a chaotic
progression gives way to more melodic, then a different pattern
of chaos takes it, following by a new melodic musical direction.
of Unintended Consequences: Weird chaotic sounds begin this
one, and the tension and dissonance build as the volume does,
too. The cut continues in a chaotic riotous mode. This is sheer,
dynamic chaos in a dissonant manner. Melody lines emerge for short
times, then shift back out to non-linear modes.
Fast paced, quirky prog tones begin this one, and as the song
proper starts, those are built on in a great progressive rock
fashion with jazz overtones. This one is quite melodic and a great
counter point to the previous number. A percussion interlude moves
the piece into a jazzier segment. Some of the guitar work on this
one leans toward Howeish texture. Percussion ends the number.
That Endswell in Roswell: With one of the coolest song titles
I have heard in a long time, guitar melody lines begin this one,
and it slowly builds from there in a great, relaxing jazz-influenced
prog style. After a brief stop, the cut begins again in a rather
mysterious style. After a while of this, a more energetic texture
begins to take over building in similar styles, but with a greater
sense of urgency. The cut dissolves into Crimsonesque jazzy chaos
as it ends.
Inspired by 1001 Real Apes
Marches on Theme: Dissonant piano begins this one, and the
song starts building on this mode, getting quite dramatic at
times. It is a sedate and slow moving piece with a lot of artistic
Theme: A great, harder rocking, fast paced prog mode makes
up this cut. One of the main riffs to this one is a killer line
that calls to mind some of the music from the Planet of The
Apes film and Tony Levin's styles. After a time, this hard-edged
jam gives way to a slow, mellower interlude. It drops back even
further, then begins building up from there. The beginning segments
of the cut return to end the piece in fine fashion.
Theme: A melodic, ballad oriented mode makes up the central
theme of this cut, and the band expand and create within this
framework in a great free flowing jam. This one feels a bit
playful at times. Some talking set in the background appears
toward the middle of the piece. Great guitar based textures
take over for a time. Then piano begins dancing around this.
This mode ends the number as it flows straight into the next
Sore Throat Theme: Bouncy piano, continuing themes from
the previous cut, jump straight out from that one to form the
central theme of this piece. Rather jazzy, quirky lines make
up the main theme here, bouncing to and fro with a great arrangement
that becomes somewhat orchestral at times. This one ends with
just a piano pounding a single note over and over.
Insidious Revenge of Ultima Thule