Exposé Online banner

Cafewien — Terrae Motus
(Mellow MMP 169, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01

Terrae Motus Cover art

Cafewien, a four-piece of guitar, drums, keys and bass, with a guest player on saxes, and any way one looks at it, Terrae Motus is an impressive album of sparkling jazz-rock fusion, the kind they don't make much of anymore. Certainly Cafewien won't be making it any more either: this album was recorded in 1990, and after years of shopping around for a release, the band finally called it a day in '93. Regrettable. Their general approach is light, delicate and spirited, full of rich melodic textures and vivid imagery, rather than the heavy handed and forceful approach of American fusion. Two comparisons that come to mind immediately are Lyle Mays (the prominence and style of Daniele Porchera's piano on several of the tracks reminds of Mays' solo work, and that with the early Pat Metheny group) and mid-period Kenso, though there are many ghosts in Cafewien's mix, too many to enumerate here. Guitar is strong and stylish, though no one instrument dominates the sound, instead being a very balanced effort, the rhythm section setting the overall tone while keys, guitar (and saxes, when used) playfully interact at the top end. Overall, this is an outstanding release that has been largely overlooked, deserving of a lot more attention. My highest recommendation.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Cafewien

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pure Reason Revolution - The Dark Third – Pure Reason Revolution is part of a new breed of British Neo-progressive acts balancing neo-folk vocal phrases with familiar engaging art rock trappings. Led by guitarist Jon Courtney and bassist...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues