Sunday, June 26, 2005


As a genre, Jazz-inflected Norwegian Post-Prog Instrumentals would probably have most of you reaching for some razor-blades and a warm-bath, but, trust me, this is a bloody great LP:

I bought some stuff by Jaga (formally Jaga-Jazzist) a couple years back when they were a, um, Scando-Glitch-Chamber-Jazz outfit, but I'd never ever expected them to so willingly embrace X'Cilvxsia, the Cornish God of Total Rock-out...

This LP should appeal to people who like an occasional bit of (sssssh...lowers voice, conspiratorially) Zappa, Henry Cow, Canterbury Scene, Van der Graaf Generator, etc...(bloody hell, if that wasn't a police photo-fit/FBI profile of John Effay, then I'll be a...)...basically, it's Prog for people who don't like Prog...three of the tracks are bordering on fucking (Jazz-)Rock Anthems...time to raise yr cigarette-lighters en mass, kiddies...

"All I know is Tonight" sounds like an out-take from "Ok Computer" remixed by Matching Mole..."Stardust Hotel" is so fucking gorgeous; there's a bit where a wall of really woozy, drunken horns (like Jon Hassel on barbs) are suddenly propelled into Low Earth Orbit by the rhythm-section; I've played it about eight times now and I still keep getting goose-bumps, so I've pencilled it in to be the theme-tune to the Hi-Concept TV-series that I wrote during the Great Glastonbury Storm..."For all you Happy People" dicks around for a while, chasing a bunch of twiddly woodwind and keyboard parts around a deserted aerodrome, sounding like, I dunno, the digital bastard son of Hatfield & The North or National Health until a muscular fuzz-riff kicks off a pompous-sounding punch-up involving a dozen or more cartoon characters (It's so wonderfully self-deflating & mock-heroic) and then the whole song tumbles downhill into a ravine...krump/bump/thummft!

It's Jazz-Rock, man, and it's great, but don't take my word for it.

If you're scared this is actually a Finnish Out-Rock record or a Fall side-project or something recorded by a couple of Texans ODing on DMT on a malfunctioning cassette-recorder (ie the sort of stuff I normally review), then check it on a listening-post in HMV or something. Incredibly, it's on Ninja-Tune and it's acres better than most of the toss they've been putting out recently.

(My only complaint is that the vinyl version don't include the demos like wot the CD does...)

Go forth, my wonderous, green, trembling childen, and send word of the New Prog, for I have seen it and it is good.