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Paul Steven Ray: Church of Vanish

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No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Paul Steven Ray presents the musical equivalent of life emerging from the primordial slime. There are three different "bands" here, but, with minor variations, each track sounds similar. A variety of sounds creates a background out of which might emerge some organization, a rhythm perhaps, or maybe even a melodic line, but the organization quickly is overwhelmed by the rest of the sound. At times there is interplay between the instruments, at times an instrument might play something that sounds a lot like a solo, even if no one cedes sonic space for the solo. And then, oddly enough, there are frequent breaks for what can only be described as a screaming, testosterone driven, rock and roll guitar solo. But there's no guitar listed among the instruments. I assume that Ray has sampled an electric guitar, and takes a certain pleasure in taking guitar solos without the guitar. This is chaos, then, that occasionally gives way to a kind of coherence, which is invariably swa! llowed up by the chaos. But this isn't the sort of assaultive chaos that one might expect from so-called noise bands. This is disorganized sound that gives rise to organization apparently without planning to do so. It's not clear what Ray was aiming for, if indeed he was aiming for anything beyond an organic compendium of sound. So it's not clear how well Ray achieved his goals. Taken on it's own merits, this is interesting, often intriguing, music, but it is also overwhelming, in just the way you might expect chaotic sound to be.

Personnel: Paul Steven Ray: piccolo bass guitar, keyboards, sampler, percussion; Eli Fontaine: percussion (tracks 2, 5, 6); Tom Mitchell: saxophone (tracks 1, 3); Pheeroan Ak Laff: drums (track 4); Julian Thayer: bass guitar (track 4); Will Woodard: bass (track 1, 3); Trevor Holder: drums (track 1, 3).

Track listing:Wire Day, 3 Day Hex, Sista Dance, Mumbo Rotation, Outskirts, Church of Vanish. Total time: 46:26.

Record Label: OVRG

Style: Modern Jazz


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