265

Flat Earth Society: Psychoscout

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Flat Earth Society: Psychoscout Sit up and listen. Flat Earth Society is a big band with the integrity of a magpie, in the sense that it goes for the shiniest elements of a cultural outlook that takes in a kind of homage to Kurt Weill, incidental music for old TV detective series, and perhaps a touch of Henry Cow at its most formal. All that makes for listening that could have you laughing out loud or wondering happily over the sheer bravura of it all.

Catch an earful of "Clusterthing," featuring a riff ponderous enough to make a stampede of elephants seem fleet of foot by comparison, and traces of such formidable complexity that they should only be listened to whilst grinning maniacally. You might just find your outlook on life is transformed in an entirely positive way. By comparison, "Hilton's Heaven" is an exercise in dark restraint in which deft keyboard touches serve notice of how this band has mastered colour, shedding some light upon the twilit ambience; Roland Vancampennout's vocal sounds like a Belgian J.J. Cale.

When it comes down to it, this is a big band whose music effectively sidesteps the common discussion of the respective merits of sections and soloists. That said, Marc Meeuwissen's trombone on the title track is an embodiment of the bawdy, whilst Bruno Vansina's baritone sax on the oddly named "Lax" blows up the kind of vertiginous storm that's likely to have those of nervous disposition running for cover.

Even greater credit must go to clarinettist Peter Vermeersch and keyboardist Peter Vandenberghe, however, as their compositions make up the programme on Psychoscout—and only rarely in recent times has such coherence between compositional framework and musicianship been acheived. To call it "Ellingtonian" might be both apt and unhelpful, but it doesn't alter the fact that this disc ought to be figuring in those end of year lists, if there's any justice in the world.


Track Listing: Anthem 2004; Clusterthing; Gulls & Buoys; Edward, Why Don't You Play Some Blues; Hilton's Heaven; In Between Rivers; Psychoscout; Lie To Me; Without; Snaggletooth; Lax; Waterman; Ich, Bin, George.

Personnel: Peter Vermeersch: composer, clarinet; Tom Wouters: clarinet, vibraphone; Benjamin Boutreur: alto saxophone; Michel Mast: tenor saxophone; Bruno Vansina: baritone saxophone; Luc van Lieshout: trumpet; Bart Maris: trumpet; Marc Meeuwissen: trombone; Stefaan Blancke: trombone; Berlinde Deman: tuba; Peter Vandenberghe: piano, keyboards; Wim Willaert: accordion, keyboards; Kristof Roseeuw: double bass; Teun Verbruggen: drums; Roland Vancampenhout: guitar (4), vocals (5).

Title: Psychoscout | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Crammed Discs


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Soul Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Penumbra" CD/LP/Track Review Penumbra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "East West Time Line" CD/LP/Track Review East West Time Line
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Collage of Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Collage of Moments
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Such A Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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