Norway - Full Moon 75 - 11/20/02
Plays Jazz For Alien Individuals
Some cannons take a long time to load. Chrisph of Famlende
Forsøk is the man behind this particular cannon. The first track by Exit Kanon was released
on a Norwegian cassette compilation in 1987; he's been working on this album ever since... Not!
Anyways, it's been worth the wait. The old tape recorders have been substituted by digital means.
Some of the older recordings have probably been substantially changed and improved, soundwise, and
lots have been recorded during recent digital years.
Well then, what does Jazz For Alien Individuals involve? The cannon man states he's
inspired by jazz musicians like Sun Ra, Miles Davies, Chet Baker and John Coltrane, as well as
Zappa, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and artists closer to the rock formulae
(Tom Waits, Robert Wyatt, Gong and King Crimson) - even Dalai Lama. The music is certainly not
the most obvious homage to be-bop jazz, not even the relatively laid-back "Jazz Birdzz" or the
short "Jazz Trip". In fact most of the music doesn't close to any of the above mentioned with the
possible exception of Sun Ra (and maybe Dalai Lama?). The album is mainly instrumental except
some spoken words and wordless singing. The music is keyboard based, but with several guitars,
drums, wind instruments, samples, harmoniums etc. all over the place. Only three of the 11 tracks
are shorter than five minutes, a couple of titles and some bits and pieces suggest the album draws
more inspiration from ethnic music than straight jazz.
Some tunes are cold and distant - not only "It's Cold Out Here" - sounding like an intergalactic
hailstorm, maybe in a Sun Ra vein? Others are warm and organic despite the keyboard domination.
The 10 minutes of "Tibet (Through The Binoculars Of EK)" certainly draws more from Sun Ra than
Dalai Lama. It starts as a half-structured piece with drums all over the place, jazz bass and
half-atonally brass up the Ra street. Eventually it turns into an unstructured and wild free-form
beast. "Jazz Birdzz" is a bit closer to my idea of Tibet. Almost a bronze lure saxophone there at
the start? And the beats sound like altitude sickness in the head after staying a few hours in
that country. "Thing'n Bingen" is the ballad of the album - if ever there was one - and eventually
includes voices drawn from the medieval Hidegard, I guess. My personal favourites are the weird
and hypnotic "Operateur 23" and the opening and closing track "Varanasi". The latter certainly
doesn't reminisce a lot of the holy city with the ghats at the bank of Ganges I visited a couple
of years ago. It lacks some clues of pollution, traffic jam and noise. Anyway, I tend to fall on
my back every time the original starts. The revisited version at the end gives you space to digest
and contemplate the entire album.
It's no use trying to categorise Jazz For Alien Individuals. I guess it might either
delight or disgust people in the jazz, folk music or techno camp alike. It's a one of a kind
album. Give it a try if you're looking for something (almost) completely different.
Can be ordered from the Crawling Chaos corporation.
Copyright © 2002 JP