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Improv 04


Tripod Mind


Neil Feather & John Berndt- Nondo, Melocipede, Vibro-wheel array, Guitaint, Venitian Glass Nephew, Peasant Instrument, Ultra Hodge, Appologetica, Aleatron



The whimsical names of the instruments played by Thus herein and the absence of descriptions of them in the liner notes make my job harder than usual, but so what? These guys are musical pataphysicians and are up to electronic jestering of a fine sort and Iím not put out. Their tripod mind is suggested by three bowling balls, the schematic of their floor shows conceals more than it reveals and the musician in the photo on the back cover (uncredited, natch) is doing his best to look like a brown castoff of the Blue Man Group. It starts off more than okay, and three tracks in Iím intrigued, mesmerized even. These guys know their way around a Rube Golbergian electronic array and the sounds emanating from it are surprise-ridden, alien-friendly and sometimes Partchian. A hotdang combo sound here. Sound for the weirdness of it, sound for the purpose of alienating the listenerís expectations, sound for the kid-like joy of it. Some of the sounds will be familiar to Improvisor readers, many wonít. I couldnít begin to say who is playing what. There none of the stop-and-start disconnected edginess peculiar to tons of free improve Instead, all of the sounds above are part of a musical flow, a meaningful arc. This is a must-listen. Buy it and start enjoying it today in the comfort of your own rec room. Itís way above the improve norm.



Richard Grooms