Random Touch - "Reverberating Apparatus"
(Token Boy Records 2010, TBR53833)
From Aural Innovations #42 (May 2011)
Defiantly experimental, Random Touch combine numerous elements from far-ranging musical quarters, including the Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, Terje Rypdal-like impressionistic passages, the abstract collage techniques of Henry Cow (sans that group's sometimes overbearing political stance) and the buzz-saw minimalist drone of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. This is not to say that Random Touch sounds like any of these artists, since the group clearly has its own sound; such comparisons simply indicate the various directions toward which the individual members of the group move. Pieces like "Home for Twilight" and "Before the Beginning" are particularly noteworthy (and unnerving) for their juxtaposition of improvisational and serial elements of composition. The group, though only a trio of guitar, keyboards and drums (with additional found sounds added to the mix), functions here as almost a chamber ensemble in a free rock context, with lots of impressive soloing and instrumental pyrotechnics. The occasional spoken word texts and pitch-shifted vocals tend to distract the listener at times from the music but fortunately most of the songs on Reverberating Apparatus are free of any attempt to sound anything other than different. Even so, a few tracks such as "Danger" and "Fred Astaire-ing" eschew the experimental approach in favor of fairly linear song structures with a semblance of conventional harmonic content. But the group's true métier is in exploring the musical strengths of each individual member and in combining those strengths to create music that is at once unclassifiable and refreshingly noncommercial.
For more info, visit: http://www.randomtouch.com
Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree