Exposé Online banner

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog — YRU Still Here?
(Northern Spy , 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-06-09

YRU Still Here? Cover art

Guitarist Marc Ribot has a recorded history that is so diverse as to be of little use in predicting what a new album might sound like. His group Ceramic Dog consists of Ches Smith (drums, percussion, electronics, vocals) and Shahzad Ismaily (bass, synth, percussion, vocals), two members of Secret Chiefs 3, so it would be reasonable to expect some features of that band’s experimental pan-global genre-stew to be present. That expectation is fulfilled in numerous ways and infused with a ragged, angry punkish energy more concerned with angsty expression than precisely rendered compositions. Rhythms touch on funk, dub reggae, African, Middle Eastern, and thrashing rock, all spliced together in varying ways. Ribot’s playing has a core of blues, folk, and rock, but mutated with a lot of atonal noises and dissonance, that has won him many jobs as a sideman (Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, John Zorn, David Sylvian, and more). In addition to this wild guitar work, he contributes Farfisa organ, a bit of bass, and vocals. Guests provide a number of other instruments, including sitar, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The vocals are often more shouted than sung, and touch on social and political topics as well as personal ones, so they often resemble the chanting at a protest march. Some highlights are the sitar-driven “Orthodoxy,” the messed-up funk of “Freak Freak Freak on the Peripherique,” and the oddball grooving of “Oral Sidney with a U.” I’m going to call it all Global Freak-Rock, and leave it at that. Probably not for everyone, but if you’ve got a tolerance for edgy noise and a fondness for non-rock elements tossed in, YRU Still Here? is a fascinating release.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Marc Ribot / Ceramic Dog

More info
http://marcribotsceramicdog.bandcamp.com/album/yru-still-here

Latest news

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pink Filth - Seventeen Bubblegum Smashes! – Um. This is not Pink Floyd, it is Pink Filth. The name is not only a clever pun to fool high school stoners into buying the album (if they could find it in any store on this planet) but it also is a...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues