Weekly Wire
Tucson Weekly Rhythm & Views

SEPTEMBER 15, 1997: 

KEN FIELD

Subterranea
OO Discs

RECORDED LITERALLY underground in the flats of Roswell, New Mexico, the Massachusetts-based Ken Field's Subterranea is a brilliant effort. An excursion into the solipsistic land of improvisation, Field improvises lines here, and with recording technique, plays his own harmony and response. Known for his work with Birdsongs of the Mesozoic group, as well as for instrumental tracks for Karen Aqua's award-winning animation (which airs on "Sesame Street"), the record was the result of an intensive study at an artists' retreat. Within the melodic and harmonic grooves through "Five Saxophones in Search of Meaning," "Perpetual Motion," and "Sympathetic Magic," are an almost Phillip Glass-like forward propulsion and intensity around the initial, indiscernible improvisational line. With almost manic pursuit, Field, with occasional percussion accompaniment, performs a musical onanism worth watching for its self-generated symmetry.

--Brendan Doherty


REVELATORS

We Told You Not To Cross Us...
Crypt

THE REVELATORS ARE three garage-slop peckerwoods from the "Show Me" state who make one hell of a bodacious racket. If you dig the seriously out of tune aural molestation of the Oblivians, feast your ears on these runaway felons, who have recorded 15 simplistic, albeit slashing, voice, guitar and drum patterns direct to ultra low, one-track fidelity on their debut platter, We Told You Not To Cross Us... If lithium gulping hillbilly Hasil Adkins heard these Benzedrine popping juvenile delinquents--who have more in common with the banjo-plucking cretin from Deliverance than the muscle-headed frat boy image they'd like to project--he'd hide in the nearest possum patch until they called it quits. From the greasy, finger-lickin' rockabilly-cum-garage gumbo of the Sonny Burgess penned "Ain't Got A Thing" to the rambunctious and terrifying Link Wray-meets-Jimmy Reed mutated delivery of "Ain't That Hatin' You Baby," the Revelators smack you upside the head with non-stop, spit-flying enthusiasm and a load of raunchy musical antics.

--Ron Bally


PATRICK CASSIDY

Famine Remembrance
Windham Hill Records

OKAY, I'LL ADMIT it, I hadn't taken my Prozac for the last four days before I went to the record store, and I was sucked in by the title of this somber piece. Naturally, I expected something of weight, but I was truly surprised by the degree of substance and beauty in Cassidy's writing. For my entertainment dollar, no one tops the Irishness that permeates Mark Knopfler's soundtracks; and if anyone comes close to matching his exceptionally emotional writing it's Cassidy. The "Funeral March" theme is reminiscent of the touching melodies Knopfler wrote for the Last Exit To Brooklyn soundtrack; all of Cassidy's gut-wrenching, orchestral music paying tribute to those who weathered Ireland's disastrous potato famine in 1845. There aren't many albums that leave you with a sense of reverence when they're over, a feeling of having crawled inside the sufferings of someone worse off than even you. And it's an album that won't receive the attention it's due, given the subject, the small label, and the public's unfamiliarity with the artist. Sad stuff. But don't let the obstacles keep you from checking out the disc. This album will undoubtedly get Cassidy a load of movie soundtrack offers.

--Dave McElfresh


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