199

Ponga: Ponga

Derrick A. Smith By

Sign in to view read count
Ponga: Ponga The comparison between Ponga and the early-70s groups of Miles and Herbie Hancock is obvious but not facile. Obvious points of comparison are the tension that exists between the unpredictability of the live sources and the postmodernist structuring achieved in-studio; the coexistence of groove and physicality with an amorphous, ambiguous improvisatory conceptualism; and the omnivorous aspect of the music which renders it both in- and outside of its contemporary milieau.

Ponga as an album and a group entity creates a feeling of distanced duality. Which is one of its major aesthetic selling points. The group's members—Wayne Horvitz, Dave Palmer, Bobby Previte, and Skerik - are all contributors to the modern avant-garde scene, a scene which invites certain "roots" infoldings, such as the organ grooves of Horvitz' Zony Mash ensemble or the Latin elements of some of Previte's work. So despite the funkiness that is never far from the center, there seems to be a yawning chasm between that grounded physicality and the "mind" side of the equation. Something like "Naugahide", with its creepingly repeated sax motif, gives only the illusion of the emotionalism and clarity of purpose which characterizes most pop music.

In this way the music both stands apart from contemporary popular music and reflects the developments of the past several years, notably in the electronic genres. Like Dark Magus and Sextant, the music is process made almost flesh, a living body that repels and fascinates with its alien character. However, there is not as much of a gap between Ponga and modern popular music as there was between electric-period Miles and the tunes of that time, indicating that the erosion of the barriers between "jazz" and others forms is increasingly accelerating.


Track Listing: Pimba; Pick Up the Pieces of Saturn; Naugahide; Blowtorch; Awesome Wells; Ponga Amore; Liberace in Space; Bookin.

Personnel: Wayne Horvitz: keys; Dave Palmer: keys; Bobby Previte: drums; Skerik: sax, samplers.

Title: Ponga | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Loosegroove


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "The Duo - Live!" CD/LP/Track Review The Duo - Live!
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Ockeghem Octets" CD/LP/Track Review Ockeghem Octets
by John Eyles
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "The Organ Grinder" CD/LP/Track Review The Organ Grinder
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Kingdom" CD/LP/Track Review Kingdom
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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