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PAK

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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PAK biography
PAK is the brain child of Ron Anderson, who "was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1959. He is a self-taught rock composer who starting experimenting with free improvisation while in high school in the mid 1970's. In 1980 he was a founding member of Rat At Rat R in Philadelphia. He then moved to New York City's Lower East Side in 1982. He started working in his home recording studio experimenting with tape editing, found sounds, noise, and improvisation. He combined these elements with composition and released his first LP entitled Fever Dream in 1987. Ron moved to Oakland, CA in 1989 and shortly thereafter formed The Molecules; they released a total of 6 CD's. He and The Molecules were introduced to the European music community at the Music Action Festival in Nancy, France in 1993 and since then he has been a regular on the European festival and club circuit, as well as touring in Japan, Canada, and the United States. After living in Geneva, Switzerland for one year, he moved back to New York City in 1999 where he formed PAK. He has collaborated with many other musicians on numerous projects."

"Returning to the United States in September of 99 after a year living in Switzerland, Ron Anderson started working with drummer Race Age as a duet, with gigs at the Cooler and Abc No Rio in New York City. Race has worked with W.O.O. and Dog Bowl and with RA on recordings and gigs that date back to the late 80's. PAK started rehearsal in May of 2000 with the addition of two young and extraordinary musicians, Will Redmond and Jesse Krakow. Jesse also works with Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston in Fast 'N Bulbous, a band that plays big band interpretations of Captain Beefheart compositions.

In March 2001 PAK kicked off a ten concert tour of the East Coast of the United States at the Knitting Factory in New York with Ruins. In August PAK had there European debut at the Festival Fruits de Mhre in Mhre, France. They toured Europe again in winter of 2002 and finished their first CD - 100% Human Hair, co-produced between Elliott Sharp and RA.

After the European tour of 2002, Race Age was replaced on drums by Keith Abrams. Keith is an amazing young drummer, with incredibly fast hands, great ideas that he is always ready to put to use no matter what time signature we are in, and a great sound. Jesse has been playing with Keith for many years and asked Ron to audition Keith for the band. For the audition Keith walked into the rehearsal room, sat down...
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PAK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PAK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
100% Human Hair
2003
4.40 | 4 ratings
Motel
2005
4.00 | 3 ratings
Ron Andersons PAK - Secret Curve
2011

PAK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PAK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
The Ashfield Sessions
2008

PAK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Motel by PAK album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.40 | 4 ratings

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Motel
PAK RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by frippism
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

5 stars If there's one band I wish I've known about when I was still in NYC, it'd be Pak. These guys take music at throwing a pan filled with boiling oil at it, until this music explodes into furious runs of punk energy, with time signatures changing faster than you can say 17/8. They take their music and just smash into a thousand pieces on the wall until all's left is to do is dance hectically to this insane groovy syrup.

The influences to be found here are many, from as I said punk, funk, avant-garde, free jazz, neo-classical, polka (sure why not), spazz-core, hardcore, jazz-core, the Earth's core, any other musical sub-genre which you can play in a thousand miles an hour and call it core in the end. I mean how fast can a band band possibly play without all the gears in their body catching fire and melting off? Composer Ron Anderson just has these incredible lines running all around the songs, sometimes not as in-your-face as you'd expect, making the album a joy for repeated listens as there is really a lot to find in this album. Not to say that this is album is melodic, I mean, god, no. You can hear a melodies strongly, but the sound itself is unbelievably chaotic, it's just un-human. There's because of that a definite challenge to get into the album, but you always enjoy listening to it (if you're a fan of the avant genre) and it has that raw punk energy, shot through a avant-garde cannon, it's just a treat.

The ferocity of the songs make the album go by quickly. The hilarious opener "You Like It Like That", is some sort of ferocious beast twisting in weird rhythms and singing about sex and lust. Just mind-numbing and hilarious. It gets a bit hard to distinguish songs after that, they're all great. "Heatwave" just charges at you with its insane speed. "100% Human Hair" also just bites off your head. "Everybody Likes You" is almost constructed like a trad-jazz piece, with main melody, insane solos and riffs, and main melody. It's one of the most fun epic tracks I've heard. "Zugzwang" is the first time they actually slow down things, after a sort of hard-rock thing in the beginning the song slided into this very cool sort of piano A- Capella, which unwinds towards the end. Creepy and beautiful. "Bienvenue A L´Hotel Plastique" starts off a bit slow, and just transforms into this chaotic jam thing. The rhythm section is so different and syncopated so accurate that it makes me jealous.

The musicians are some of the best I've heard. I have to say that drummer Keith Abrams plays so fast, so smart, so accurate, that I won't mind stating him in my top 5 drummers easy. He doesn't really run out of gas, ever. He plays so fast, and handles all the time changes masterfully, giving the songs a frame. Jesse Krakow is a bassist which I hope to be eventually. His lines are different, original, unique, fast, punchy, and precise. Him and Keith Abrams provide an excellent rhythm section, though they aren't really a rhythm section. Their playing is perfectly in sync and just gives Pak this wonderful groovy feeling to it. Main composer Ron Anderson's guitar work is just as good. His lines are played so fast, his power chords are so brutal. It's hard just trying to process what he's playing. Also there are great guest appearances! Carla Kihlstedt from Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is here (spelled correctly second time, I'm improving) and her contribution to this album is rather big and very very successful. Her lines and solos give the music an ethnic taste many of the times which just changes up this exquisitely. The horn section here will melt your face. Consisting of Stephen Gauci, Tim Byrnes, and Ross Bonadonna, they give a jazz-funk aspect to the music, and have some very enjoyable solos. They do such an incredible job on "Everybody Like You" that it justs puts a smile on your face.

For the faint of heart this is not, for the avant hater is definitely is not, for the punk haters, and genre close-minded this is not. For the avant fan, who doesn't mind a little punk, ethnic, funk, jazz in their music, I would say pick this bad boy up.

A solid 4.5, maybe even a 5.

EDIT: After quite a lot more time listening to Motel, the very few parts I liked less grew on me to a point which they've become favorites (some of them). Absolute masterpiece of avant punk madness fun. Rating raised to 5 stars.

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 Motel by PAK album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.40 | 4 ratings

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Motel
PAK RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Motel" 's music lays in the aural field many music fans don't even expect ever have been existed. Traditionally speaking about progressive rock, one of main antipodes is punk culture (or anti-culture). PAK on their music mix both components in one musical brew, not very usual musical cocktail around,isn't it?

Depending on where from you're started, "Motel" ' s music could sound for you like if Ramones switched to complex avant-improvs music or like Japanese Ruins went to NY Downtown and decided to become punk band. Mixing NY punk aesthetics with Japanese avant-prog angular noisy brutality, PAK play really original music here - punk-rooted with guitar improvs,violin and trumpet and complex angular rhythmic constructions. From other hand, their sound isn't so radically brutal,as on many Yoshida's projects.

Being University student (few decades ago) I've been punk music maniac. Many years gone from that time, and it was really difficult to enjoy high-energy dirty three-hordes music for me anymore. But PAK's album returned me back to that aesthetics and atmosphere, just on very different level - complex improv-based music I really enjoy nowadays.

Than - if you feel what I feel -try this! If you think music should be pleasant,melodic and positively-enjoyable listening - just run away from this release.

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