Chimpan A — Chimpan A
(F2 Records 2200608, 2006, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01
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.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more