Exposé Online banner

Dave Kerman / 5uu's — Abandonship
(Cuneiform Rune 158, 2002, CD)

by Paul Hightower, 2001-12-01:

Abandonship Cover art

Do you ever wish you could indulge in some honest, healthy, head-banging and rocking out but just can¹t bring yourself to put on any Led Zeppelin or AC/DC? Well your time has come, RIO-freaks. Kerman and company (Deborah Perry on vocals and Udi Koomran on “sound”) have put together some of the most challenging music around, rivaling their peers for sheer oddity and quirkiness, but what comes across is Kerman¹s sheer power and command behind drums and percussion. They sprinkle down over more placid stretches and thunder like nobody¹s business during rock passages. And of course, being RIO, you get it all together in the same song. Sure the material lacks the instrumental dexterity and prowess of a Miriodor or Thinking Plague though this is more than offset by the rhythmic brilliance and sheer rocking power. Such a full sound is unusual from a lineup like this, especially considering the only "musician" is primarily a drummer! Kerman is assisted by liberal use of midi instruments, allowing him to link drums to keys (and vice versa) without having to record the two individually. Koomran¹s contributions are more difficult to decipher, though the disc is laden with recorded sounds pulled from street vendors, nature, and television, among others. Perry’s vocals are charming as ever and suit Kerman¹s poetry well. Roger Trigaux even makes a guest appearance as “the dictator,” perhaps hinting that Kerman¹s appearance on the next Present disc is assured. This is an easy recommendation for fans of the Present / Thinking Plague axis of RIO.


by Jeff Melton, 2001-12-01:

Dave Kerman is making a concerted stab to become the Christian Vander of the Cuneiform banner of groups. Not only is he doubling up between his percussion responsibilities with Present and Thinking Plague, but also he has found time to relocate to Israel and record a new album under his own name. Dave made this 5uu's project true to his heart as a solo album with guest, which suits his mood but he still manages to retain an overall group sound. The introduction piece, "Yordei Hasira #2," is a slice of Material-like syncopation with wobbly bass and odd percussion that sets the experimental tone of the ten tracks. Probably the best track is "Thoroughly Modern Attila," where the sound mix (courtesy of Udi Koomran) is especially crisp and emphasizes a brutal bass and drum pairing. I am also very pleased with Dave's compact approach to guitar playing (as well as his leads) which really pays off when paired with piano unison on "Noah's Flame." Back again for another unnerving ordeal is Deborah Perry on "Couple #3 Is a Solo" and "Belly-Up" which serves up the oddest vocal modulation I've ever encountered: the piece is like Henry Cow meeting Universe Zero circa 1975. Kerman goes into great detail about the construction process in the liner notes that is both informative and amusing. Being a US citizen in an unfriendly part of the world has certainly spurred the creative process for the accomplished drummer. Now if we could just see him stateside more often, I'd be truly happy.


by Sean McFee, 2001-12-01:

One of the most prolific and highly-sought drummers in avant-prog, Dave Kerman, has returned with an album from his own project 5uu’s. Abandonship features the most stripped-down line-up to date, with Kerman on all instruments, Deborah Perry on vocals, and Udi Koomran credited with “sound.” Much as with other 5uu’s work the keyboards often lead with lengthy, sinuous melodic lines which stretch the boundaries of tonality, if they respect them at all. Kerman has an ingenious ability to layer contrapuntal lines which are dissonant yet bizarrely infectious; imagine Webern starting a rock band and knowing how to write for the idiom. Perry has her finest vocal outing yet (at least in the Thinking Plague / 5uu’s catalogs), delivering the difficult and unintuitive vocal melodies with an alternating detached irony and alien invocation comparable to some of Dagmar Krause’s finest work. As enjoyable as these vocals are, it is the compositional genius that will most command repeat listens; the crescendos into a percussion-driven sensory assault with multiple layered parts and effects combed into a thick aural mesh that honestly is beyond my qualifications to do justice. Very little music has the power and majesty of the final couple of minutes in “Noah’s Flame”; brief moments of peak inspiration. As always the production is meticulous, and the studio is used as another instrument to manipulate these art songs into otherworldly musical experiences. I have not been so moved by Kerman’s work since the monumental Hunger’s Teeth; it is exhilarating, if rare, to hear rock music so categorically successful.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 23 , 2002 releases

Related artist(s): 5uu's, Dave Kerman

More info
http://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/abandonship

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Baku Llama - Eris – Eris is the debut release by this Southern California based trio, oft given to systematic discoveries in the rockier terrains of what one might call soundtrack music. Their vision is rooted in...  (2008) » Read more

Peter Blegvad - Choices under Pressure – Choices under Pressure is a career retrospective done in a rather oblique (and typically Blegvadian) manner. He has rerecorded more-or-less acoustic versions of some of his best songs from previous...  (2002) » Read more

Audra & Voltaire - Audra & Almost Human – Audra captures the factory sound of the late 70s, of bands like Bauhaus and Joy Division. Their debut CD opens with a tasty little bit of nostalgia. “In All Our Androgyny” features an...  (2001) » Read more

Sixty Nine - Circle of the Crayfish & Live! – Sixty Nine were an unusual "group" being only a duo of keyboards and drums. For these limitations, Sixty Nine made a pretty big sound, a combination of influences that on the more mundane...  (1996) » Read more

Günter Schickert - Somnambul – This is one of Musique Intemporelle's Rainbow series, CDs released with a track of CD ROM on each one. I haven't seen the CD ROM portion of this so I can't comment, but the rest of the CD...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues