147

Yuganaut: Sharks

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Yuganaut: Sharks It is somewhat easy to be fooled, by the playfulness of Yuganaut's musicians, into thinking that Sharks is a flippant album. So, as rapidly as the thought occurs let it perish. The music on this album is deep as the ocean of sound from where it comes, and the musicians do a fine job of exploring the tones and textures that abound, as the music deliberately tumbles from their various instruments, to make a confluence of dramatic sound which, in turn, tells a sonic story all its own. When bassist Tom Abbs chugs with pedal point behind the chopped colorings of percussionist Geoff Mann—both joining Stephan Rush as he howls through the bent pipe of his trombone—the shuffle of "Breakthrough/Zhu" unfurls from its Zen-like mode into a bloom of naked color.

Similarly, on "Fade to Frenzy," a kind of ironically backsliding visual feast which sounds like the expressionistic world of Dr Cagliari—whose footage was being played backwards—still sounds as thogh the track is moving ever onward. Abbs is a virtuosic musician, extending from the entire family of stringed instruments to some brass and woodwinds. Here he is heard kicking up a storm on tuba and that haunting instrument of the Australian outback, the didgeridoo. Also on bass and on cello ("Lost in the Field" and other tracks) Abbs holds notes long and hard, plying them with overtones that intensify their color and make for a wonderfully vivid palette of sound.

Rush is more of an experimentalist. As a musician, he does not seem rooted in any instrument, although he seems drawn to all things keyboard—a fact borne out by his penchant for bringing toys to the set—but all is soon forgotten when Rush picks up his trombone and bleats plaintively behind Mann's brassy interlude on "Lost in the Field," Abbs' mournful cello notwithstanding.

Mann is the most colorful musician of the trio, his percussion work the glue that binds much of the Sharks' music.. His ability to awaken vast palettes of color—rolling easily on snare drum or dropping dramatically placed bombs on his bass drum while sniping away at the bevy of cymbals—is a thing of rare beauty. "See Saw," "Local Motion" and "Vger" are outstanding examples of his fine sense of rhythm and melody, enrobed in a rhythm all its own.

Although the album rocks excitingly from track to track, the crowning moments come on the ultimate track, "Again and Sweetly," a sonic gem of sweeping expanse. While sounding utterly new, the musicians manage to improvise around myriad familiar songs that appear and disappear throughout; an agglomeration of sound that makes Sharks memorable long after the music dies.

Track Listing: Breakthrough/Zhu; Fade to Frenzy; Landfill/Sharks; Lost in the Field/See Saw; Local Motive; Vger; Wrenchwork; Again, and Sweetly.

Personnel: Stephen Rush: Rhodes, Moog, trombone, toys; Tom Abbs: bass, cello, violin, tuba, didgeridoo; Geoff Mann: drums, percussion, trumpet.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Engine Studios


Shop

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Bright Side" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Side
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "The Digging" CD/LP/Track Review The Digging
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Closer Than Before" CD/LP/Track Review Closer Than Before
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Wisdom Of Elders" CD/LP/Track Review Wisdom Of Elders
by James Nadal
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "When the sleeping fish turn red and the skies start to sing in C major I will follow you to the end" CD/LP/Track Review When the sleeping fish turn red and the skies start to sing...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!