Dreampipe - "Nursery Fruit History" EP
(Orange Entropy Records 2000, OE004)
From Aural Innovations #14 (January 2001)
Interesting (and at first, very mysterious) acquisition here. This is a four-song EP that was recorded in 1992, but that's all the information given in the liner notes. I had to check Orange Entropy's web-site to find out who the players are. Steve Zimmerman is the guitarist, Ben Chatrer is the drummer, and apparently this EP is all that's been released. The music is basically live, improvised and psychedelically-charged echoed/phased guitar explorations, which on the first two tracks is almost constantly shifting.
The first track "The Graverobber" starts off rather comically as a surprise visit by a psychotic rock band at the door of some unsuspecting resident. The two entities exchange words and brief musical phrases briefly before the music takes over, though continuing in a strange start-stop mode, vacillating between guitar-drum blasts and silence, rarely reaching a groove or beat. The same approach is present on "The Belgian Flu", which runs a whole 12 minutes. It kicks in with the complete echo-guitar and drums, for a while making you think it's gonna be a regular tune, but gradually they head back into start-and-stop mode, perhaps for a bit too long, before reprising back to the original riff at the very end. At times this approach can get a little tedious, though the guitar phrases do for the most part remain interesting and inventive, aided by constant utilization of the echo effects.
The other two tracks (let's call 'em "ditties"), both rather brief, display a more accessible side of the EP. There is still the improvised guitar-and-drum playfulness but in the context of more succinct songwriting. "The Chorus Song" is especially enjoyable with its loopy, seasick guitar riffing. "East of Pizza" starts with cool noise-guitar and a driving military-march beat before getting into some killer slide-guitar and feed-back, backed by a fun, frantic polka-type (?) beat. These two tunes were immediately enjoyable, but the first two are worth giving repeated listens. Finally, I should mention that the sound-quality is of a demo standard, though this shouldn't detract from your enjoyment quotient.
Nursery Fruit History is distributed by Orange Entropy Records. You can visit their web site, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact via snail mail c/o Orange Entropy Records; PO Box 1314; Burbank, CA 91507.
Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg