123

Mice Parade: Mokoondi

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
For all practical purposes, multi-instrumentalist Adam Pierce is Mice Parade. Pierce plays drums, guitars, organs, vibes, and cheng. Using studio tools, he blends all these sounds together to craft groovy, percolating textures. His third disc under the Mice Parade moniker, Mokoondi, gains extra personality through the efforts of additional musicians on saxophone, vibes, violin, and voice. However, it's Pierce's personal vision which organizes the music and sets the tone. Multiply-overdubbed performances form a thick, pulsing collage of sound—always moving forward, but never in a hurry to get there.

The combination of fluid improvisation with studio textures helps define Mokoondi as post-rock, though one has the sense that Pierce is not interested in definitions. His work on the cheng (a Chinese harp akin to a zither), for example, eludes categorization. At times percussive, at others melodic, he artfully stretches the possibilities (and the strings) of this unusual instrument.

Notably, Mice Parade defies the most common pitfall associated with studio-enhanced improvisation: perfectionism. Pierce prefers to take the notes as they come, building them into an organic whole—rather than getting everything "just right." As a result, Mokoondi has an authentic, home-made flavor. One can hear the personal character of each cymbal hit or pluck of the cheng—microtonal variation, attack, and all. The vocals are not always in perfect tune, but it doesn't really matter. The groove maintains over-riding authority on Mokoondi, though all the parts that fit together to form it retain their own personal character. Occasional improvised drum duets offer a hint at the possibilities available to the expanded Mice Parade in live performance, where post-rock drumming master Doug Scharin joins forces with Pierce to deliver polyrhythmic energy.


Track Listing: Open Air Dance; Into the Freedom World; Circle 1; Pursuant to the Vibe; Mokoondi; Ramda's Focus; Circle 2; The Castaway Team; Man on the Beach in Brasil.

Personnel: Adam Pierce: drums, cheng, moog, rhodes, guitars, synth, vibes, saxophone, cymbalom, dulcimer, marimbas; Carlo Cennamo: saxophone; Dorothea Tachler: violin, voice; Doug Scharin: drum and guitar loops; Marc Wolf: guitar; Dylan Cristy: vibes; Herman Wright: saxophone; Helen Ann Shea: gourd rattle, guitar; Tyler Pistilli: vibes.

Title: Mokoondi | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Bubble Core


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "The Crave" CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Far From Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far From Over
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.