Tuner — Totem
(Unsung UNSUNG0501001, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Tuner is the two-man power group featuring Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) and Marcus Reuter (Centrozoon). Mastelotto is at home playing modern electric percussion while Reuter is better known as a prolific ambient player with Ian Buddy in their series of successful tone poems. Together the two have gestated a unique hybrid of latter Crimson moods, jam band, and techno grooves. The disc begins with the funky “Flinch,” where the players immediately establish a rhythmic dialogue within a clever sampling phrase. Reuter handles Hammond organ in parallel by creating a spacious chordal foundation for steady grooves in the vein of Martin, Medeski and Wood. The duo is keen to create mystery-laden tones heavy with imbedded samples that have been morphed into malleable shapes for them to infuse their song constructs. The best example of this is on “The Morning Tide Washes Away”; it features female spoken word and sampled vocalese from Sirenée. The duo relied on Albeton Live software to manipulate their guest star’s performances into not necessarily recognizable performances. “Better Take Your Head Off” begins with some light beats before evolving into s grinding set of clanging percussion. “Kiss the Earth” relies on a downward facing chord progression that carries with it a lush theme and light back beats. Ending the collection of ten collaborations is “Dexter Ward” from the HP Lovecraft novel about obsessive desire. In lieu of new King Crimson material, I find this recording adequately fills the void.
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