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Micro-East Collective: Out of My Face

Glenn Astarita By

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The aggregation of musicians known as the “Micro-East Collective” counteract the extended themes and microtonal concepts implemented on their previous release 062099 with abstract interludes, free-jazz improvisation and acerbic wit on this new recording, titled Out Of My Face. Along with guitarist Nick Didkovsky and trumpeter Rob Henke of New York’s heralded “Dr. Nerve” band, this large ensemble pursues brief melodic sound-bites and curiously interesting dialogue on the appropriately titled piece, “Sound Bites”. On “Quartet 7899”, guitarist Nick Didkovsky’s layered approach featuring electronically induced shades of distortion and altogether eerie effects counterbalances attenuated notes from the horn section, Ian Davis’ tribal induced rhythms and the amalgamation of loosely stated themes. Here, lucid imagery of perhaps a group of hikers lost in the woods, or wolves separated from their pack came to mind! “The title track, “Out Of My Face” commences with cackling laughter by members of the band, intermingled with brief choruses and laconic passages in somewhat of a round-robin fashion.

No two compositions are alike as we continue onward with “Stimulation”. With this piece, the musicians pursue avant-garde minimalism featuring dissonant phrasing by various members of the woodwind section, along with Corey Sims’ backwash of accordion, intersecting motifs and tumultuous dialogue. Ethnocentric percussion and Didkovsky’s crunching electric guitar lines provide the backbone for the instrumentalist’s conveyance of jagged phrasing along with a few sequences of crash and burn interplay whether in brief spurts or harmonious accord on the piece titled, “Buried Textures”. Essentially, the individual members of the band maintain a viable role within the big scheme of things as if they were actors portraying their roles in an Off-Broadway play.

Out Of My Face is often fascinating if somewhat unclassifiable. Needless to state, these folks are on to something here as the vibrancy, startling chemistry and elevated degree of musicianship will more than likely impart a permanent inscription or impression on one’s psyche! .......Recommended * * * *

For additional information visit the “Micro-East Collective” on the “Umbrella Records” website at: www.umbrellarecordings.com/micro-east/shows.html


Title: Out of My Face | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Umbrella Recordings

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