Herd of Instinct — Herd of Instinct
(Firepool Records FR001, 2011, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01
Herd of Instinct is a new instrumental Texas based trio featuring multi-instrumentalist Mark Cook (mainly Warr guitar and keyboards) and drummer Jason Spradlin – both ex-members of 99 Names of God – joined by second guitarst Mike Davidson, also covering bass, guitar synth, and sitar. Their sound is busy and experimental, definitely leaning more in the Crimsoid direction, but we're talking plenty of original ideas blended into this potent mix. The second cut, "Room without Shadows," delivers the primal punch that defines the aggressive side of the trio's sound. Beginning with the third cut, the guest list starts growing, first flute and additional percussion join guest Warr guitarist Dave Street, and the style begins to shift and diversify. With "Blood Sky," Gayle Ellett of Djam Karet joins in on Mellotron and guitar along with drummer Jerry Marotta, while Spradlin concentrates on tuned percussion and singer Kris Swenson turns in the only vocal performance on the entire disc. "Anamnesis" features Street again on bass guitar, plus additional guest spots for second drummer Pat Mastelotto and touch guitarist Markus Reuter, offering further links to the contemporary Crimson sound. Further tracks feature Ellett on bouzouki, keybardist Mike McGary, and second drummer Gavin Harrison. Closer "The Face of Another" has a slightly more acoustic feel that approaches Steve Tibbetts territory. In all, this is a promising new band that hopefully we will be hearing a lot more from.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more