The Abstractions set up house on Sonic Conspiracy
in the first 36 seconds. The roar, like an avalanche, heralds the coming; but in all the sound and fury there is an underlying attractiveness as they harness tumult in all of its atonality.
What emerges over the course of this album is the meld and merge of instruments and of voice given vent to in intense roil, and in somber expression. Agitation does not shift gear into overdrive, and while there is heated manifestation, it all boils down to a permutation that is fathomable.
The “Playground of Lost Souls” is the setting for an eerie atmosphere, the wind blowing strong shafts, turmoil raising an angry head, the sax ululating, the drums skittering, the vibes measuring time. Voice rises in supplication on “The Wisperer”, a prayer-like intonation; sound in its progression is measured calm.
One track goes left-of-center in the overall scheme, at least for a bit. “Dinner with Blue Dragon” gets saxophonist Rent Romus all thick and cozy and melodic, and it is a pretty nice feeling abetted by Marsh on vibes. But even in change, there remains a certain sameness, as sounds are contoured by percussion, piano and a tortured voice, and later, even Romus, into a knotty whorl.
The detractions come on “Ornette” where the spoken part sends everything askew and on “Don’t Touch My Shit” which is fair warning considering that it comes off as self-indulgent. Otherwise Sonic Conspiracy has much to offer.