Peripheral Vision: Irrational Revelation And Mutual Humiliation

Dan McClenaghan By

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Peripheral Vision: Irrational Revelation And Mutual Humiliation
The Toronto-based quartet Peripheral Vision offers up Irrational Revelation and Mutual Humiliation, the group's fifth release in a discography that began in 2014 with Sheer Tyranny Of Will (Step3). The leaders, guitarist Don Scott and bassist Michael Herring, anchor a tight rhythm section with drummer Nick Fraser, rounded out with alto saxophonist Trevor Hogg. Distinctively modern in sound, toe tapping grooves abound, powering ahead with a momentum as in synch as that of Chick Corea's' Elektric Band.

Irrational Revelation, the first disc in the two CD set (Mutual Humiliation is the second), is center-pieced by the fourteen minute, three part "Reconciliation Suite," addressing the historical mistreatment of the indigenous Canadian population. The tune begins in an anguished, near free-jazz mode, the guitar and saxophone wailings spiraling around each other against a turbulent backdrop that shifts into sorrowful solemnity on a eloquent Herring bass solo, soon joined, in a minimalist fashion, by the rest of the quartet. Then things brighten and shift into a hopeful groove that sounds like a top notch surf-rock band, guitarist Scott noodling with a high energy elan, followed by the irrepressible sound of "For Kent Monkman," a tribute to the Canadian Indigenous artist.

The album is co-produced by Jean Martin, who was responsible for expanding the group's approach, layering and overdubbing the live-in-the-studio sounds with of the guest artists he recruited—keyboardists and a vibraphonist—fleshing out and enhancing the fresh spontaneity of the quartet.

The vision, over the entirety of the two discs, maintains a remarkable focus of intent, to " ...balance the drive for forward momentum with the neuroses that hold us back" (as the liner notes put it). It seems quite the success in that regard, on a sprawling musical statement that addresses everything from racial inequalities, a Marilyn Monroe quote from her most famous film appearance, clothes washing problems in Germany, Panamanian snakes and "Fish Who Can Do Math."

Track Listing

CD 1: Whistle Up A Rope; Hanging In, Hanging On, Hanging Out; Reconciliation Suite; For Kent Monkman; The Foish Who Can't Do Math; Brooklyn's Bearded; Man Vs Zafu. CD 2: Title Crisis; Kopfkino; S N A Kee SSS; Neo- Expressionism For Pacifists; N12; Schleudern; Mutual Humiliation Society.


Peripheral Vision: band/orchestra; Trevor Hogg: saxophone, tenor; Don Scott: guitar, electric; Michael Herring: bass; Nick Fraser: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Michael Davidson: vibraphone (CD 1: tracks 2, 4, 6, 7. CD 2: 3, 6, 7); Craig Harley: organ, Fender Rhodes (CD 1: tracks 1, 6, 7. CD 2: tracks 1, 2); Chris Pruden: Prophet 6 (CD 1: tracks 2, 5, 6, 7. CD 2: tracks 1, 2); Jean Martin: organ bass, synth programming CD 1: track 2; CD 2: track 1).

Album information

Title: Irrational Revelation And Mutual Humiliation | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Step3

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