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The Science Group biography
Formed in 1997 by Chris Cutler and composer and multi-instrumentalist Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer, this group's lineup also included in their two albums Bob Drake, Fred Frith, Claudio Puntin (from the Syntopia Quartet), Amy Denio and Mike Johnson (on the second album).
The two original members met already in 1981 in Tickmayer's home town of Novi Sad and then only met again in the 1990's when ReR, owned by Cutler, imported Tickmayer's albums. The relationship deepened when Tickmayer invited Cutler to collaborate with him on scoring film music and in 1996 the idea came up to record music together, revolving around those aforementioned texts. Tickmayer composed the music in both albums and the second album is instrumental.
Their music, avant-rock, also incorporated elements from contemporary classical and jazz music, giving them an avant-garde edge. Both their album were released on ReR; A Mere Coincidence in 1999 and Spoors in 2003.
The name of the band is based on song lyrics that Chris Cutler wrote that revolved around scientific issues such as physics and genetic engineering.

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4.34 | 19 ratings
A Mere Coincidence
4.18 | 17 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Mere Coincidence by SCIENCE GROUP, THE album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.34 | 19 ratings

A Mere Coincidence
The Science Group RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars THE SCIENCE GROUP was formed by Chris Cutler and Stevan Tickmayer back in 1997 and this is their debut album from 1999. With musicians like Fred Frith and Bob Drake helping out you know this is going to be great. We also get Claudio Puntin on bass clarinet and the vocals are provided by Amy Denio who sings in the tradition of Deboarah Perry, Dagmar Krause, Susanne Lewis and Emily Hay. This really is a classic RIO album bringing to mind THINKING PLAGUE, ART BEARS, 5UU'S and NEWS FROM BABEL. The electronics and samples provided mostly by Tickmayer add a lot to this release. They have released only one other album called "Spoors" which is all instrumental and has Mike Johnson from THINKING PLAGUE on it.

"Mnemonic" has lots of intricate and odd sounds coming and going right from the start including drums, bass clarinet and piano. Vocals after 2 minutes. Such an impressive opener. "Aleph Zero" again has my head swimming with all the sounds I'm hearing. The vocals join in quickly but man what an incredible collage of sounds. The tempo picks up after 1 1/2 minutes. Well these first two tracks have certainly warmed me up. "Engineering" is different as we get distant and experimental sounds. The guitar joins in as it is slowly picked and there's plenty of atmosphere here as well. Sounds drone as the guitar continues and the bass clarinet helps out. Relaxed vocals arrive before 3 minutes. "Lost In Translation" has a very hyper start with vocals, piano, drums and more. A frantic beginning. It does settle back before a minute.

"Chimera" is my favourite song on here. It's spacey and haunting to start and I like the depth of sound as the bass clarinet helps out. Distant vocals after 2 minutes and there's someone speaking too. It then kicks in before 3 minutes with drums and more powerful vocals. Amazing sound! That guitar is incredible and angular after 4 minutes. It settles back late as spoken words can be heard. "Parity" opens with what sounds like deranged harpsichord as reserved vocals and more join in. The tempo picks up quite a bit after a minute when the vocals stop. It settles back again before 2 minutes as the vocals return. Excellent track. "Love" has someone yelling while the angry mob looks for someone to beat on. Yeah this is love(haha). Avant sounds join in before we get a calm. The guitar and bass clarinet are joined by the vocals as it stays laid back but not for long. All kinds of different sounds come and go 2 1/2 minutes in then back to that laid back sound.

"Open Or Closed?" is another favourite. We get a catchy beat as keys and more join in. Vocals after a minute then the bass clarinet honks and we get percussion too. Back to the earlier sound at 3 minutes. "Napoleon" hits the ground running with all kinds of sounds. "...In..." has avant spoken words and sound for 25 seconds then "...Schroedinger's Box" follows that up with a catchy sound with vocals. Very melodic and fun although they throw in some weird sounds of course. "Event Horizon" has lots of sounds coming and going including bass clarinet and drums. Vocals too as we get insanity late. "Lab Notes" features intricate sounds before this rhythm kicks in around 30 seconds. Vocals and spoken words before 1 1/2 minutes. Experimental stuff follows.

"Scale Invarians" opens with vocals and a powerful sound. The sound of an elephant comes and goes before 1 1/2 minutes, powerful indeed. A mellow section follows of picked guitar, vocals and atmosphere. Nice. It turns avant before 2 1/2 minutes right to the end. "There Must Be Something" is all over the place, outstanding! Nice bass before 3 minutes. This song needs to be heard to be believed. Love the electronics too. Children can be heard playing after 4 1/2 minutes then rain and thunder roll in after 5 minutes and this continues to the end. Just wow! "Untitled" ends it all and it opens with what sounds like vibes, percussion and experimental sounds. it kicks in hard after a minute, full throttle as the vocals join in.

As I mentioned earlier, if your into 5UU'S, THINKING PLAGUE, ART BEARS and the like, please track this beast down. And when you do may God have mercy on your soul. Yeah I got nothing.

 A Mere Coincidence by SCIENCE GROUP, THE album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.34 | 19 ratings

A Mere Coincidence
The Science Group RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progressive

5 stars Dark atmosphere, catchy stunners, dispersed stunners,high vocals, warm bass clarinet, weirdness. Awesome, and though this album might be lacking of something (like more longer songs) it is an avant-prog gem. One of my favourite albums. Weird science.

Mnemonic (1. / 2:36) starts with noises reminding me of Cleaning Women, soon bass clarinet and female vocals coming. The next song Aleph Zero (2. / 2:24) continues from there and starts to resemble more PRESENT and THINKING PLAGUE. The music is still merely splintering, with lively occasionalities. Engineering (3. / 6:04) is more atmospheric, mellow and spooky ambientism with vocals - nothing special for me but actually not too long track.

Lost In Translation (4. / 1:09) is a very good catchy avant-(pop)prog song, but very short. It is irritating, but also the shortness has some mysticism in it. Chimera (5. / 6:15) starts interestingly - compared to Engineering, this is much spookier and otherwise better (Resembling also Mew's And the Glass Handed Kites). And once again we can witness avant-prog's power to make very good pop (I sometimes use name indie avant-garde) . Amy Denio's singing is just lovely and the melodies & harmonies strange. While listening to Parity (6. / 3:06), one cannot forget band named 5UU's. Bob Drake sings in both bands. Try to stay on track because this is bombastic! The song has also different moods and things pushed together and it works! Love (7. / 4:52) sounds pervert and lovely love! There's weird interrupting things but still the song is very mellow. Open Or Closed (8. / 4:15) isn't actually comforting me much, but it is sypposed to be so weird as it is, and maybe unconfortable, a little bit poppy, again. Napoleon (9. / 1:54) is a short rocker. .......In..... (10. / 0:25) is the shortest - rhythmical speaking and drums, nice! ............Schroedinger's Box (11. / 1:08) is a very lovely - once again poppy - song, like Event Horizon (12. / 1:49) and it's hard to describe. Maybe you will understand and approve it. Lab Notes (13. / 2:53) is slow and clumsy. I think the scientists are tired and crazy, but still this isn't so nice song. Scale Invarians (14. / 3:36) is very mystic, monumental, with nice ideas and some adorable elephant (or some animal) voices. Masterful! There Must Be Something (15. / 7:19) sympathetic mourning song. Much noises here, also (I don't usually like them but they suit for this album). The last untitiled song (16. / 3:03) is quite psychedelic rocker. The sound is a bit computer-like, but it doesn't bother me.

For fans of 5UU's, THINKING PLAGUE etc this is a must-have. These songs just are great!: Lost In Translation, Chimera, Parity, Scale Invarians and There Must Be Something. The rating could well be only 4 stars, because of the structure of the album, or some even awkwardnesses, but there's some reasons that makes me love this.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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