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The Remote Viewing Ensemble are a Michigan based experimental or avant-garde group and feature such instrumentation as: Prepared Guitar, Tapes, Cheng, Bone Guitar and Wood Flutes to cite but a few. This band also takes on another identity, which is The Northwoods Improvisors (see AAJ May 99 review).
This collective of experimentalist’s dabble in many different genres, some of which may be considered “World” or cross-cultural music” yet the gist or perhaps motivational forces gravitates towards free-thinking communal activity. Within these 6 pieces, RVE take the listener on a musical journey, which touches many areas, mainly through percussion and/or subliminal suggestion. The music is at times peaceful, thought provoking, somber and moving but not always in a direct or obvious way. RVE summon the mind’s eye as we may exercise our imaginations and come to our own personal conclusions. Glimpses of rain forests or a hilltop in India came to mind at various times throughout this recording; although, this writer has been to neither. That’s the beauty of it...! Bare in mind, this is not Adult Contemporary Instrumental music. RVE offer subtle complexities, clever implementation of foreign sounding instruments while intelligently utilizing electronics and tape loops for nuance and color. At times these compositions demand the listener’s attention and in many instances the music seems spiritual or ethereal.
The Remote Viewing Ensemble are an exciting bunch and befitting of their name approach composition from the -outside looking in- and triumphantly succeed in conveying their collective visions. Highly Recommended. ****
Ben Bracken; Prepared Guitar, Electronics, Tapes, Acoustic Guitar, Cymbals: Mike Gilmore; Cheng, Percussion, Vibes, Tamboura, Bone Guitar, Cymbals: Mike Johnston; Bass, Wood Flutes, Percussion, Tapes, Husks, Violin: Kirk Lucas; Bowed Banjo.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.