The superb Ministry of Rites - GRID yields a paradigm for the present day advancement electronics-based music's transmission of depth of expressionism. Amid numerous sound-shaping textures and an abundance of coherent mini-themes, Tobias Fischer and Rent Romus recorded this album remotely without any predefined musical borders. While they often project a mammoth wall of sound, it's all engineered upon mind-altering sonic-scapes and other curiously interesting facets.
The duo slams the psyche into submission, while offering numerous mind-bending propositions. At times there are streaming sounds of a river intermixed with notions of high-decibel machinery gone awry. Other passages are designed with analog wave forms, counterbalanced by Romus' yearning upper register sax lines along with effects-treated voices that spark notions of alien communication, prompting the mind to wander and create.
Feu Follet marches to the beat of a different drummer, as the artists occasionally fuse odd-metered rhythmic elements into shadowy drones and swirling church organ motifs. Contrasts and thought-provoking muses are in abundance, while "Saturine Shores" features Romus' sublime alto sax choruses against harrowing backdrops. The duo also conjures up an impression of despair, shaded with a doomsday narrative, where lucid imagery looms as a prominent manifesto. Compelling, enchanting and chock full of multi-hued emotive attributes, it's a significant work that should not be overlooked.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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