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Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden - Structure Et Force CD (album) cover


Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden


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Retired Admin
5 stars Fat funk fusion

The ripples of yesteryear's big bands - the heritage passed on by the great jazz giants of the 30s, 40s and 50s, has developed into something quite unique and amazing. Sure, it had its stepping stones along the way, and especially when you hear an album such as Sun Ra's Lanquidity, you'll surely stop doubting in the evolution of jazz, and maybe even come to a greater knowledge of just how essential the whole notion of fusion became. Jazz had shifted for a more esoteric palette - suddenly opening up to things that earlier seemed wicked and altogether blasphemous.

Earlier this year I came across the Finnish band Astro Can Caravan and immediately fell under their spell. I had indeed unearth the true spirit of the big band feel, although conveyed in a modern eclectic dressing. In short: I was completely hooked from the get-go! Now imagine my surprise, when I then found another one of these heir-takers - now stemming from one of the most imaginative and progressive of musical places: Japan. SWEET KALINGANOITJOVSKIJ!!! Let me tell you straight away, these guys are quite simply out of this world! Rising from the ashes of avant garde Canterbury styled band Tipographica, Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden (that's their name...I am not pulling your leg!) wield a musical power that literally sweeps you off of your feet and straight into the 5th dimension. I love this outing like I love kitty cats with garlic butter and mashed potatoes. It's funky and old school while being unique and modern in a way that I haven't heard before.

For this review, my 200th of the sort, I'll try something a little different and go at it track by track - even if that goes against all of the wild unstructured sentences flying around in my cabeza. I will try as best as I can to collect my thoughts individually here, so please bear with me...

Structure l: Kitschy high towering fat funk fusion with loads of percussive splashes a la Santana - breezy brass sections and a deep belching bass line that sounds like tarmac come to life. This is what Sun Ra would sound like had he chosen to merge with Funkadelic and Guru Guru. Hell yeah - you can even dance to this stuff!

Structure ll: Hey ho we've stumbled into the studio with Wu-Tang mastermind RZA(Prince Rakeem, Rzarector, Bobby Digital) laying down some fragmented wordings that come off sounding slightly incomprehensible due to the incessant turntable sorcery slicing the music up in uneven pieces of pure funk fantasy. Then the rumbling Tarzan drums come on - from a two way street - two ever so slightly cacophonous rhythm devices that mess up the flow of things, but much to my surprise, the direction that follows is that of a beautiful ethereal jazz fusion flavour. A lone reed presents itself and everything suddenly feels desolate and pensive - like sitting under a big Buddha of stone. Slowly but steadily proceeding to grow bigger and more ferocious - ending up in full attack mode taking down colossal buildings in its path of terrorising brain-melting jazz rock.

Structure lll: Old school organs that wouldn't feel out of place in a damp crypt with Bela Lugosi and Count Dracula playing poker - shooting the breeze. Flip flop turntable shiftings, Shaft funk fusion with fat bass balloons of rock steady grooves and wah wahing rhythm guitars. Essentially a long improvised George Clinton like piece that digs its way straight down in the dark brown murky soil. Overhead the reeds alter from team spirited toots of melody to the off kilter beat downs - taking them way out on ledges and hedgehogs - sharpening the feel, dangerous, pointy and serrated.

Structure lV: Beautiful, just utterly beautiful. Ethereal synths accompanied by a slowly picked acoustic string instrument - developing into this melodic take on the jazz that fuelled the 40s. The brass section sounds particularly romantic and sweeping, although with the add on of the effervescent synths and altogether floating vibe, you are indeed in the presence of something quite original. This is the kind of music you'd expect hearing in a rare crystal cave - surrounded by millions of small luminous turquoise shimmers of starlight. The universe handed over in notes.

Structure V: Guitar lead piece with a great melodic groove. Backed up by several glistening electronics and perhaps my alltime favourite percussive instrument, the tabla. The music is a combination of swampy laid back beats - as well as the now familiar feel of the big booming brass section that sounds like a revamped version of Duke Ellington's finest. Again it seeps effortlessly into an inspired jam, that takes the listener deep within the wilderness of deep funk fusion.

Structure Vl: Maybe not too surprisingly we get fed an uncompromising jam of everything leading up to it. The emphasis is of course on the great tumultuous sound of the big band, but with all of the guitar soloing, Santanesque clay pot drumming and congas, frenzied organs and 40.000 tons of unadulterated zest and imagination stock, the ride is as climactic as a huge sizzling orgasm on the top of a crowded mountain top.

Report this review (#786375)
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars With a name like this you'd think they were a Post-Rock band but no they're Avant all the way with a strong Jazz flavour. As Guldbamsen mentions you do get a Big Band vibe here considering how large the group is. Five horn players, four guys on percussion of some sort or another along with two keyboardists, two guitarists and a bass player. Yeah that's a big band. This group rose out of the ashes of TIPOGRAPHICA and are from Japan.

"Structure I" has some nice chunky bass to start with a beat then it kicks into a fuller sound before a minute. Horns come and go. That intro is reprised after 5 minutes but with the sax playing over top. It kicks back in before ending with drums only. "Structure II" opens with organ then the drums and vocals take over. Horns after 1 1/2 minutes. This is like Free Jazz with dissonant horns ripping it up as other sounds help out. "Structure III" has this wah wah sounding organ before a full sound takes over before 1 1/2 minutes. A lot of intricate sounds here. Horns come in and take over after 3 minutes. Electric piano (yes !) comes to the fore 7 minutes in until after 9 1/2 minutes when the horns take over again.

"Structure IV" is my least favourite but it's still good. Mellow sounds to open then horns come in after a minute. It's mellow again before 2 1/2 minutes before turning fuller around 4 minutes. A laid back horn a minute later and organ too. A change 6 1/2 minutes in with pulsating sounds then the horns return. "Structure V" has lots of these repetitive intricate sounds early on. Horns around 2 minutes then a change after 3 1/2 minutes as organ and more kick in. The horns become prominant and check out the angular guitar 7 1/2 minutes in. So much going on. This really does get better as it plays out. "Structure VI" kicks in early with percussion and some crazy guitar. Nice bass here too.

An excellent release for those who are looking for some challenging and adventerous Jazz flavoured music.

Report this review (#805604)
Posted Friday, August 17, 2012 | Review Permalink

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