Exposé Online banner

Trap — Beyond the Status Quo
(Musea Gazul GA 8600 AR, 1997, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01

Beyond the Status Quo Cover art

The swirling multicolored psychedelic booklet cover belies the playful avant strangeness of this, the first release on Gazul, Musea's new side-label for more 'challenging' music. Trap is Gary Parra, former drummer with PFS, and Cartoon before that, along with Spaceship Eyes members Don Falcone (synths, bass and trombone), Karen Anderson (voice) and John Kuntz (guitar, mandolin, ukelele), as well as former Cartoon / PFS members Craig Fry (violin), Herb Diamant (sax, flute, bassoon), and Scott Brazeal (piano, synth), plus several other guests. We reviewed a very early demo version of this a couple years ago, before all the arrangements had been fleshed out and mixed down, and before a couple of poorer tracks were dropped in favor of some newer ones that were far more interesting. What we have now is a strange and shimmering gem that defies easy description and categorization. A volume of influences went into these twelve tracks, some pretty overt like Zappa and King Crimson (titles give that away), some not as obvious (free jazz, classical, Happy the Man, Henry Cow, Pink Floyd, Euro-folk, John Cage, and the list goes on...), but all are well assimilated into this wild party stew that Parra has concocted. No two songs here even sound like they were made by the same band, let alone off the same album. Each track has, above all, its very own personality, which gives the overall effort a strong sense of variety — maybe too much at times, but nothing a few listens couldn't take care of. In all this is a fairly accessible album — the humorous elements of tracks like "Double Barrel @ 184," "Romanian Circus," and "Consecutive Rhymes" and the vague familiarity with "Zappazone" and "Crimson Moon" help to break the ice while the others in between are sinking in subconsciously. A fun release that all should check out.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 13, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Trap

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

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 Santana, 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


Previously in Exposé...

Lucia Micarelli - Music from a Farther Room – So, I've got this record to review. Drop-dead gorgeous raven-haired violin goddess, an obviously classically trained violinist with that Trans-Siberian Orchestra rock twist on your grandparents'...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues