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House Band of the Universe: Cycle Maintenance

Dan McClenaghan By

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First things first, though it's probably irrelevant, but is House Band of the Universe a great name for a music-making ensemble or what?

Now for the relevance: the sounds herein—it might be a suite, though it isn't labeled as such—seem as though they contain some sort of elusive grand significance, just out of reach. Or maybe the opposite is true; maybe there's no meaning at all beyond the joy and wonder of making spontaneous sounds. Not that it matters...

The House Band of the Universe is Dave Storrs and Mike Klobas on drums, with Page Hundemer on bass and loops—the Klobas/Storrs/Hundemer from the previous Louie discs In the Room and An Hour of Now —joined here by keyboardist Mark Bjorklund, riding a cosmic river flow of spontaneous compositions. A piano trio with an added drummer, you might say, making sounds like no one else out there.

Percussion textures are loose, spare then dense; and the sound slips into almost sedate mainstream eddies for short intervals or wails with a driving rock intensity (I note, as I listen to "Got"), with Dave Storrs sneaking in briefly on trombone (his first intrument, because he had long arms); or they might ease into a ethereal fluid drift ("Wind down the Summit"), and as always there's the intricate finesse drumming behind it all; Page Hundemer on bass ranges from a rubbery lub-dub mode to a "Seinfeld Theme" boink to a the deep fuzz of a God throb in the center of it all. Of the Universe, indeed.

There are few parallels out there to what this House Band is doing. The closest, perhaps—in creative attitude if not sound—are the Satoko Fujii Trio recordings with Mark Dresser and Jim Black.

Not for the listener who craves structure; more for the music lover who can embrace an unpredictable ride of discovery.

Track Listing: Wide Wise, Sideways Portal, Commotion in the Ocean, Wind Down the Summit, Push and Pull, See Look Stare There, Big Stretch, Full Cycle

Personnel: Mark Bjorklund--piano, keys, percussion; Page Hundemer--bass, loops; Mike Klobas--drums; Dave Storrs--drums, keyboards, trombone

Title: Cycle Maintenance | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Louie Records


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