Exposé Online banner

Chimpan A — Chimpan A
(F2 Records 2200608, 2006, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

Chimpan A Cover art

Don’t read too much into the Simpsons reference in the name of this group. It’s all business with these guys, being Rob Reed (keyboards) from Magenta and Steve Balsamo (vocals) and Rob Thompson (guitars) from The Storys. Reed had been messing around with some techno ideas when Balsamo and Thompson, also part of the South Wales music scene, heard them and immediately wanted a part in bringing the music to life. The project quickly snowballed and a host of guests were recruited to fully realize what ended up being an album on an epic scale. Not epic as in prog epics, mind you. This is music that will most immediately appeal to fans of Massive Attack, Moby, and Zero-7, though fans of Steven Wilson’s more modern and commercial undertakings might warm to this also. Although Balsamo is main singer on the album, the modus operandi of the project is its use of guest vocals, from urban poet Tony Dallas’s spoken word to Sian Cothi’s operatic crooning to Sam Brown’s velvety soul. These performances dovetail with the songwriting that varies from grinding R&B (“Are You with Me”) to orchestral pop (“The Last Night on Earth”). All of it is blessed with bleeding edge production values and an attention to detail that will please the most demanding music engineering geek. But sonic marvels aside what makes this album work in the long run is first class pop songwriting, maybe not every Exposé reader’s cup of tea, but it works for me. Recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Chimpan A, Rob Reed

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...

Groovector - Darklubing at Tavastia – From time to time I see a band criticized for not realizing what their own strengths are, for moving out of the area where they shine. I’m wary of that kind of reasoning, as it should be the...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues