How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The large ensemble known as “Micro-East Collective” follows up their previous effort, Out Of My Face by pursuing similar concepts and practices, consisting of verbose dialogue, multi-layered sound textures and complex arrangements on the newly released, Fabric. Yet on these fifteen pieces, the performances feature as few as three or (at times), twenty musicians. And as the title and cover artwork might suggest, the musicians’ disperse ethereal fabrics of sound via an amalgamation of disparate elements and otherworldly musings along with a nonconformist type demeanor. Here, the collective seemingly utilizes just about every conceivable instrument known to mankind, spanning analog synths, horns, woodwinds, strings, banjo, slide whistle, vibes and more. With pieces such as “...but thou didst not leave”, we hear oboist Carrie Shull’s soft rustling lines atop guitarist Chuck Johnson’s jabbing and sparring voicings as a sense of abstract folklore permeates the presentation. While “Gather and Cast” is all about homogenized horns, strings and circular movements atop imagery that could parallel a hazy dream.
Other highlights or interludes throughout this rather intriguing production include, odd-metered beats, regenerative choruses, interweaving charts, numerous episodes of call and response, hybrid jazz-classical themes, changeable flows and jovial proclamations. Basically, the band embarks upon a transparent evolution of sound and sentiment, as Fabric may indeed represent this aggregation’s finest recording to date! Recommended.
Track Listing: Eppy, ...but thou didst not leave, Fabric, Did you drop something? Oxygen Debt, Sunken, He was despised, Gather and Cast, Surely he hath borne our grief, Interlope, Untoward, Adrenaline, Mumble-the-peg, Plain of jars, Magnetic Hive Transmissions