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U Totem


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U Totem Strange Attractors album cover
4.00 | 32 ratings | 3 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. No Mo Ippon (2:49)
2. Daikon Batake (2:09)
3. Ginger Tea (5:56)
4. Another June Sky (4:32)
5. Karucha Shokku (6:16)
6. January Sky (2:08)
7. Purple Smoke (4:01)
8. Tipps' 911 (0:41)
9. Agent White Fox (3:12)
10. Chen's Gate (3:26)
11. Postcard (2:13)
12. Redskin (3:03)
13. Another Ginger Tea (5:56)

Total Time: 46:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Emily Hay / vocals, flute, piccolo
- Steve Cade / guitar
- Sanjay Kumar / piano, keyboards, speaking voice
- Eric Johnson / bassoon
- James Grigsby / bass, guitar, computer, tapes, speaking voice, composer
- David Kerman / drums, percussion

- Lynn Johnston / saxes & clarinets (1,7,9), zurna (6)
- Curt Wilson / vocals (5)
- Kaori Kuboniwa / vocals (5,11)
- Nigel Wilson / crying voice (6)
- Laurel Harris / speaking voice (6)
- Gerard Herrara / hihat (9)
- Tom Watson / Fx (11)

Releases information

Recorded between 1991-1994

Artwork: David Grigsby

CD Cuneiform Records ‎- Rune 66 (1994, US)

Digital album

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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U TOTEM Strange Attractors ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

U TOTEM Strange Attractors reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars For those who don't know, U TOTEM were a super group of sorts in the Rio / Avant world as it combined 5UU'S with MOTOR TOTEMIST GUILD. This was their second and so far final studio album. Their self titled debut is somewhat of a classic in the genre and my favourite of the two but All Music Guide has this to say about this second recording."Of all James Grigsby's productions,"Strange Attractors" is the work he will be remembered for.This album, weaved on a complex story line jumping back and forth from 1957 to 1985 to 2012, contains some of the best music Avant-progressive had to offer in the 1990's...a classic." Wayside Music suggests that this album's complexity is more subtle than the debut's which makes this even more impressive when these pieces finally "click" in your brain. And I can vouch for that as it took many listens to finally start to appreciate what was going on here. The short story that Grigsby wrote to which this album is based on is included in the booklet which is cool to say the least. So James wrote all the lyrics and composed all the music here. Emily Hay adds vocals and flute, Grigsby plays guitar and bass, Dave Kerman on drums, Sanjay Kumar on keyboards, Eric Johnson on bassoon and Steve Cade on guitar.There are many guests helping out as well.

"No Mo Ippon" gets us started and this song changes tempos a lot. "Daikon Batake" features horns, flute and outbursts of piano and percussion. "Ginger Tea" introduces us to the vocals for the first time from Emily. I like how the vocals and instrumental parts work together. She ends the song with the words "I doubt i'll see her again". "Another June Sky" opens with a very interesting soundscape. I like it. Experimental with keys and horns (I think). It picks up before 2 1/2 minutes as the drums join in. "Karucha Shokku" opens with lots of piano then the vocals come in after a minute and they're almost spoken. Horns a minute later.

"January Sky" has these spoken male words and avant music. Female words come in as they converse. "Purple Smoke" has so much going on and to be honest I have no idea what i'm hearing (haha). It settles 2 1/2 minutes in as it turns eerie. It's building. Great sound here. "Tipps' 911" is a short but amazing instrumental. "Agent White Fox" opens with the sound of a helicopter then we get a celtic vibe briefly. It turns dissonant then that vibe returns. "Chen's Gate" has the sound of frogs before a minute with atmosphere. It turns haunting followed by chamber music. "Postcard" has vocals and a brighter mood and it's upbeat as well. "Redskin" is a really cool sounding tune as drums, piano, horns and other sounds come and go. "Another Ginger tea" is dark and intricate Chamber-like music. What an incredible way to end this album.

A solid 4 stars for this challenging affair.

Latest members reviews

5 stars The lamb lies down on RIO That was my impression after my first listening to this album. A Rock Opera, but a RIO one, which not deterred from using 20th century classical music elements, free tonality, unusual scales, a bit of minimalism and loop motifs, odd jazz passages, operatic/Cabaret si ... (read more)

Report this review (#1128740) | Posted by ShW1 | Sunday, February 9, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wow! A surprising album... Another little jewel of Cuneiform. Very jazzy and avant garde, sometimes even symphonic. All the songs are great, specially "Ginger Tea", "Karucha Shokku", "Purple Smoke" and "Redskin". With influences of Soft Machine, Volapuk even PFS, the sound sometimes is very ra ... (read more)

Report this review (#40388) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, July 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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