Exposé Online banner

Virgil Moorefield — Distractions on the Way to the King's Party
(Rune 56, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-05-01

Distractions on the Way to the King's Party Cover artMoorefield was a guitarist (one of many), then drummer, with Glenn Branca's ensemble for many years. This is his first album in a decade and his first for Cuneiform. He plays drums here and did all of the album's compositions and arrangements; his ensemble consists of three guitars, bass guitar, alto and tenor saxes, trumpet and trombone. The music here could best be described as angular rock with a fairly strong jazz and neo-classical content, filled with complex understructures, where the brass and saxes handle most of the melodics (and occasional dissonance, giving a slight Crimsonesque-industrial feel to some of the tunes), while the guitars typically spin a web of looping interwoven arpeggios just under the surface, not unlike those of Fripp's Crafties, yet the end result here is wildly different. Occasionally one or more of the guitars will follow the melody, while the brass plays around in the understructure, essentially trading places. Meanwhile, Moorefield and bassest Hideki Kato are busy at the bottom end defining frames and offering undercurrents that ripple all the way to the surface. I've listened to this album fifty times if I've listened to it once, and each time some new element within the music reveals itself to me, especially on the more uptempo tracks like "Healing Power," "Seelisberg," and "Untitled." "Funk Trouble" offers some instant appeal with an almost-familiar refrain, punctuated by several improvised free-jazz-funk variations. "Noise is the Price We Pay for Signal" erupts with a clear reminiscence of Starless period Crimson, with the saxes and horns wandering in a firestorm of noisy dissonance, later joined by the guitars, while the drums and bass riff furiously behind it all - this may well be the album's most challenging track, as things only seem to come together briefly near the end. "Summer Walk" is another exception, perhaps the track that best exemplifies the neo-classical influences here. All taken, this is an outstanding release that I'm sure many would enjoy, one which will certainly be among my top ten picks for 1994.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 3, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Virgil Moorefield

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Michael Angelo Batio - Hands without Shadows – Chicago's Michael Angelo Batio is a big name in heavy metal guitar, though he's never risen to the level of a Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. His claims to fame include patents and awards, though the...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues