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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Romberg's Random Access: The Gods Must Be Smiling

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Over the last 10 years, Random Access has seen changes in its lineup. The concept of the band came from drummer Barry Romberg, who began with home experiments in 2001. His object was to play music spontaneously and, with that idea in mind, the first incarnation of the band came into being. The seven-piece unit consisted of two guitars, trumpet, saxophone, bass, drums and percussion, though the guitars and percussion were eliminated when the group pared down to a quartet. Romberg has also taken the outfit into a purely acoustic realm and, to complete the picture--at least at this stage--retains ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Random Access: was, shall, why, because

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Multi-instrumentalist Barry Romberg brings his band of fellow adventurers, Random Access, on another musical journey that is filled with generous dollops of invention, surprise and just plain old darn good music. Romberg retains his trademark sense of humor, a trait that washes into his fellow cohorts. The underlining feature, however, is the way in which they can spin ideas into compelling tales of adventure on was, shall, why, because.

Romberg uses a sextet for “Suite for the Wolfman," a collection of seven movements that is completely improvised. Given that it runs for 40 minutes and never lacks for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Random Access Large Ensemble: Existential Detective

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Barry Romberg (drums, percussion, electric percussion, synthesizer) is constantly looking for the new and unusual. The music that he evokes, and finds a voice with through his bands, has firm construction and heady improvisation. These two attributes are integral components, as is his sense of fun which adds immeasurably to the music. The Romberg catalogue includes four CDs with Random Access, the count beginning with Random Access 3 (Romhog Records, 2004). Where his band once consisted of three members, there are now 14 on Existential Detective. As always, he has some of the best musicians in Canada playing along.

Romberg's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Romberg's Random Access: Big Giant Head

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Barry Romberg's Random Access marches on to part six of its musical journey, called Big Giant Head. With all the accolades that have greeted earlier efforts, the size of the head is not surprising.

Romberg says that this recording and the previous one, Accidental Beef, (Romhog Records, 2006), involve the most structure the band has had while keeping to the concept of an open harmonic format. This works well as each player opens up the composition to invention and brings in host of delightful surprises.

The music shifts into varied terrain, picking up the harmonic centre of several sound patterns ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Romberg's Random Access: Accidental Beef

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Barry Romberg's Random access continues its musical adventures with some Accidental Beef that was put together at the Rex Hotel in Toronto. It was a good night: the band exudes a raw, intense urgency that has been captured in all its glory. The music balances improvisation with a basic structure, providing a perfect base for the musicians to take off on a trajectory or play in consonance. As they have done on past recordings, they do so once again, with emphasis.

Romberg is as imaginative a drummer as he is a composer and leader. He lets “Blair's Choice ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Romberg's Random Access: Accidental Beef

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Canadian drummer Barry Romberg's Random Access, with four previous studio recordings to its credit, has made its name with a carefully crafted electronic sound, owing much to Miles Davis' late-'60s/early-'70s recordings. With Accidental Beef, part five in the Random Access series, he takes the group outside the tighter confines of the studio for an excellent live recording that proves itself his most compelling work to date.With a mix of spontaneity and and tight grooves, this sound churns with the power rock muscle of Geoff Young's guitar slashing over the driving percussion of Romberg and Blair Mackay. Add the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Romberg: No Soap Radio

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Toronto drummer/Romhog Records factotum Barry Romberg probably needs to go out and get some sun and fresh air. Fortunately for us, however, he can't be bothered; he's too busy toiling in the bowels of his Romhog Digital studio making recordings like No Soap Radio, the fourth in his Random Access series. The Random Access formula's simple enough. First Romberg improvises in the studio with mainstays like guitarist Geoff Young and violinist Hugh Marsh--no preconceived notions, no rules. Then it's time for hour after hour of subtraction--studio editing, shaping, trimming--and addition--multiple overdubs of additional players like saxophonist Kelly Jefferson and trumpeter ...



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