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coverpic flag US - Illinois - Full Moon 74 - 10/21/02

On Fillmore
On Fillmore
Locust Music/Quakebasket

The On Fillmore s/t disc teams Kotche up with stalwart bassist Darin Gray for a drum and bass workout that is so economic as to never waste a metallic overtone or use a locked-in rhythmic cycle superfluously. "Cave Crickets" brings up ringing gamelan pot breaks into a bass line that is as meaty and circular as the finest acoustic bass sausage-links of '60's Sun Ra sideman Ronnie Boykins. Kotche's chime overtones sizzle, shimmering the tweeters while Gray gnaws at the casing, plucking the bottom vigorously, exploding over the final four minutes into a delicious double-timed bass drum break cycle with some added cowbell clanks that dips the meat into the mustard for some serious chugging funk. One for the dance floors.

"Captive Audience" is a minimal song box miniature that commences with the kitchen drawer rattled loose from its lethargy with hovering xylophones and rattles as the bass is solemnly plucked. The strewn clangs slowly come into focus as having a definite shape. The circular patterns grow more expansive in an unassuming manner, turning in a way so as to slowly hypnotize the ears with its beautiful post-Tortoise menageries, shimmering from every interlocking angle of measure over its sixteen-minute duration.

Things somehow slow even more for the gracefully plodding hits of "Beautiful Funeral," which slowly disintegrates into flanged chimes and building bass thunder, collapsing into discordant noises that are vaporized into "Accidental Chase," vicious in its stomping hits and rotations.

There are certain moments when you hope for the intrusion of another presence, but the two hold down the fort admirably with the barest of instrumental necessities. Both players have the unique ability, as well as sensitivity, to be more than four arms, and yet never overreach or burden their sound palette with distracting runs or hits. The precision of both percussion and pulled four strings is one of the most restrained and supple I've come across in recent memory, and would fulfill your need for rhythms and further beyond-Wilco sound explorations wonderfully.

Please see Glenn Kotche review.

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