Charles Rice Goff III/Tom Sutter/Michael Paull - "Ant In My Cabana"
(Taped Rug Productions/Yousns Recordings/Regicide Bureau 2004)
From Aural Innovations #30 (February 2005)
Ants In My Cabana was recorded by the trio of Charles Rice Goff III, Tom Sutter and Michael Paull (the latter two are new to me). It comes as a 2 CDR set, one mixed by Goff and the other mixed by Sutter. Both have different track listings, but a note from Charles that accompanied the discs challenged me to be able to tell that they were created from the same raw materials.
The Goff Mix disc opens with a brief whimsical intro with a chaotic but surreal vibe, and from there we get a few short tracks which include some interesting percussion pandemonium, and a couple that nicely blend atmospheric space freakiness with guitar that's reminiscent of 70's/80's Fred Frith and voices that are dead ringers for The Residents. But what seems to be the main theme of the set kicks in with "Crossing The Kaw", an interesting piece that combines multiple layers of alien space electronics with pleasing cosmic keyboard patterns but also some contrasting free-improv guitar, noise and percussion. New Age music for the avant-garde. The space/avant-garde contrasts continue on the lengthy "La Parilla", which is dominated by an ultra terrestrial space electronics theme, but keeps things interesting by incorporating little experimental bits and pieces, and later allowing these elements to take over while still retaining a cosmic vibe. "A Cat For Our Child" does the opposite, beginning as a clatter driven free-improv piece, and later taking off into a kind of freaked out dark ambient space realm. It's floating dreamy space but there's lots happening, much of which the traditional space electronica crowd would least expect. Both tracks are among my favorites on the Goff Mix. And throughout the set the trio do an excellent job of bringing together disparate space electronic and experimental elements in really intriguing ways.
It's clear early in the Sutter Mix disc that I would not have guessed these tracks were created from the same source material. Mixing things up with the avant space themes is still in abundance, though this set is much more ambient in nature. You often have to listen closely to hear all that's happening at once. The nearly 17 minute "The Lawrence Working Part Two is the highlight, with its focus on sound development and meditative calm amidst clatter, noise and an elusive sense of urgency. Most of the set is deep in space. Cold, quiet and calm, but also bubbly, busy and freaky. I enjoy ambient soundscapes but being of a somewhat hyper nature I appreciated the doses of kinetic energy and experimentalism thrown into the mix. And now that I've heard both sets in their entirety it's pretty amazing to realize that they were created from the same recordings. Recommended to space freaks who aren't afraid to venture well outside tradition.
For more information you can visit the Taped Rug Productions web site at: http://www.geocities.com/padukem.
Visit the Yousns Recordings web site at: http://home.earthlink.net/~yousnsrecordings.
Contact via snail mail c/o Taped Rug Productions; PO Box 146; Lawrence, KS 66044.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz