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DAVID CROSS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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David Cross biography
Best known as the violinist for the 1972-1974 incarnation of KING CRIMSON which produced such classics as "Larks' Tongues In Apsic" and "Red", many don't know that David CROSS released a handful of solo albums, which have featured such musicians as Keith TIPPETT, John WETTON, Robert FRIPP and Peter HAMMILL. David's solo work tends to be very jazzy (though there are some CRIMSON-esque moments) and unfortunately his albums are now for the most part quite difficult to find.

CROSS' best album is unquestionably his 1997 record "Exiles". It features all of the above mentioned guests (aside from TIPPETT) and probably sounds the most like KING CRIMSON out of any of them, thanks largely to FRIPP's guitar and WETTON's vocals. 1994's "Testing to Destruction" is also worth a listen. Liking KING CRIMSON is no guarantee that you'll like David CROSS. He has a style very distinct from the band he's best known for playing with, and he's suggested more to fans of jazz fusion than the straight ahead prog that KC is known for.

: : : Bryan Adair, CANADA : : :

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It's Not FunnyIt's Not Funny
Sub Pop 2004
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Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!
Explicit Lyrics
Sub Pop 2002
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Sub Pop 2010
Audio CD$6.20
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DAVID CROSS discography


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

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

4.03 | 6 ratings
Low Flying Aircraft
1987
3.05 | 8 ratings
Memos From Purgatory
1989
3.21 | 11 ratings
The Big Picture
1992
3.29 | 16 ratings
Testing to Destruction
1994
3.70 | 30 ratings
Exiles
1997
4.00 | 14 ratings
Closer Than Skin
2005
2.13 | 5 ratings
David Cross And Andrew Keeling - English Sun - Vol 2
2009

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

3.92 | 5 ratings
Alive In The Underworld
2008

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DAVID CROSS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Testing to Destruction  by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.29 | 16 ratings

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Testing to Destruction
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Calamity, my friend

My first experience with David Cross (outside of King Crimson) was his solo studio album Exiles and the live album Alive In The Underworld (the latter credited to The David Cross Band). The present album came just before Exiles and one of the tracks here, the opening Learning Curve, was also featured on Alive In The Underworld. It is a great track in both the studio and live versions. The highlight of Testing To Destruction is however the second track called Calamity. This is an excellent nine minute, progressive composition which tells the story of a shipwreck in a clever way. David Cross himself on violin and the band backing him up really shine here. Had the rest of the album been as good as the first two tracks we would be looking at a much higher rating from me, but sadly nothing of what comes after matches these first two tracks. The instrumental Welcome To Frisco functions like an extended coda to Calamity and may be seen as following the ship down to the bottom of the sea with its haunting cries and ghostly laments.

The Affable Mister G is an up-tempo track with a raw, almost Punk-ish feel. Not impressive. Next up is another instrumental, this time of an improvisational nature. The Swing Arm Disconnects goes nowhere and is much too long to keep my interest. Not my cup of tea. After this comes a track that on the first listen made me wonder if Spotify had shifted to another album altogether. Trip Wire is a bad Pop song that doesn't fit in here. This is then followed by another couple of aimless instrumentals, with the short title track being close to unlistenable. The final track, Abo, runs for 12 minutes. It is not bad, but it takes much too long to get off the ground and then there is not a lot of interesting things happening.

Testing To Destruction is recommended for Learning Curve and, especially, the excellent Calamity, but sadly the rest of the album is just not up to the same high standard which bring the rating down to two stars. Shame.

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 Alive In The Underworld by CROSS, DAVID album cover Live, 2008
3.92 | 5 ratings

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Alive In The Underworld
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Out of exile and into the 21st century

David Cross is best known for being a member of King Crimson between 1972 and 1974. Here he is with his own band performing a mixture of tracks from his solo albums and some King Crimson classics. His most recent studio album at the time of this live recording was Closer Than Skin. That 2005 album is represented by two tracks in the set list: Are We One? and I Buy Silence. Cross' 1998 solo album Exiles was named after the King Crimson song originally appearing on 1973's Larks' Tongues In Aspic to which Cross contributed. Exiles featured a new studio recording of the song with original vocalist John Wetton guesting. The live version of the song featured here is well sung by Arch Stanton. The rest of the band consists of Paul Clark on guitar, Mick Paul on bass, Alex Hall on keyboards, Joe Crabtree on drums, and David Cross himself on electric violin.

Tonk was also taken from the Exiles album. The earlier David Cross solo albums Testing To Destruction and The Big Picture from 1994 and 1992 respectively are represented by one song each in Learning Curve and Nurse Insane. All of the songs are good and often the sound reminds me a bit of the progressive Metal band Fates Warning! Two further King Crimson classics are included, actually my two personal favourite King Crimson songs Starless - originally from 1974's Red - and 21st Century Schizoid Man, originally from the band's 1969 debut In The Court Of The Crimson King. The latter is perhaps an odd choice given that David Cross didn't join the band until several years later, but I assume that he did perform this song live with the band back in the 70's. Cross does his own thing with these classics and gives them his own touch. Often a harder edge and heavier sound is noticeable.

The final track called Floodlights is a new studio bonus track.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable live album that sits well beside other ex-King Crimson members live efforts including those by the 21st Century Schizoid Band, John Wetton, and Greg Lake - all of which in my opinion are better custodians of the band's legacy than the band that carries the name "King Crimson".

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 The Big Picture by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 11 ratings

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The Big Picture
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars Delightfully insane, eruptive violins are a hallmarks of Cross' solo albums. The former member from King Crimson tends to unleash surprising and very satisfying runs that are truly "one of a kind". Not sure about how he ended up in Jazz-Rock/Fusion as he rarely sounds anything jazzy, more like Eclectic with a very slight touch of Avant Rock.

Indeed, it is a rocking album with pretty good tunes well performed by all. The vocals are not so great, though. Echoes of Roger Waters, Greg Lake in an uninspired moment spring to mind, but there are some better bits on the side. But the highlight is firmly on those unique violin runs.

Suffice to say that Cross' works in general align well with the 1973-75 period of KC. Almost like a continuation of "Lark's Tongues In Aspic" - if only a bit wilder still. Highly recommended.

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 The Big Picture by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 11 ratings

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The Big Picture
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The late-80's and early-90's found David Cross in a working orgasm, constantly releasing albums with Radius.However he never abandoned his solo project and in February 92' he recorded his second album ''The big picture'' with his backing group, which now included bassist John Dillon instead of Simon Murrell.Dillon is also responsible for the lead vocals of the album, which was released the same year again on Red Hot Records.

While not drastically different from the debut, Cross' second offering sounds a bit more tight and consistent.Dillon and his fascinating voice has much to do with the fact.The music is again quite diverse, including the strong KING CRIMSON vibes, the furious Fusion parts, while there are also lots of more pompous moments with an orchestral approach to be met.Dillon's voice, Cross' crying violins and Maloney's atmospheric keyboards are the main elements of these passages, which sound very grandiose.The KING CRIMSON-influence and instant Fusion material in ''The big picture'' are propably the more challenging cuts of the album.Abstract breaks, flashy synth solos, frenetic violin runs and a complex rhythm section offer charming, intricate and moving pieces of music, which however suffer again from some cheap 80's production quality.The general atmosphere of the album tends to be dark and even melancholic, still a couple of more synth-based tracks with uninteresting grooves spoil the decent effort.

A step forward for David Cross & co., as the addition of Dillon seems to have brought some fresh air and inspiration to the group.Recommended for all fans of intense and emotional soundscapes.

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 Memos From Purgatory by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.05 | 8 ratings

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Memos From Purgatory
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars An important figure of the early-70's British prog scene, violinist David Cross was born in 1949 in Turnchapel near Plymouth and became widely known as a member of King Crimson, with whom he spent three intense years.From mid-70's and on Cross participated in several albums as a guest musician, before becoming a member of the one-shot project Low Flying Aircraft and also of Radius in late-80's.Additionally he formed his own band along with keyboardist Sheila Maloney from Radius, drummer Dan Maurer from Low Flying Aircraft, bassist Simon Murrell and sax player Pete McPhail.Cross debuted in 1989 with ''Memos From Purgatory'', released both in CD and vinyl by Red Hot Records.

The album is dominated by Cross'es lovely playing and his Classical tendencies throughout, however it is also tortured by the cheap-sounding keyboards of the 80's and the plastic drumming, not unleashing its true power.Influences come from Progressive Rock, Experimental Rock, Fusion and even New Age and the album has also a strong KING CRIMSON vibe of the 80's with many experimental moments next to Cross'es both smooth and attacking deliveries, featuring plenty of hard-edged moments with fiery saxes, powerful drumming and hypnotic bass work.Maloney's keyboards though become unbearable in the process, sounding too New-Agey and fake compared to the physical sound of the violins, bass and sax.The instrumental styles offered are varied, from OLDFIELD-ian dreamy soundscapes with emphasis on keyboasrds to mechanical, almost industrial type of sharp violin intervetions, containing some schizophenic grooves, and even some delicate, more Classical-inspired pieces.The mediocre sound of the instruments combined with the mass of different moods presented hurt the album's consistency.

Not the best comeback for such a great musician.Pale and rather unispired work with huge 80's vibes in the recording process, but also hints of Cross'es unique talent throughout.Recommended mainly to die-hard KING CRIMSON fans...2.5 stars.

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 David Cross And Andrew Keeling - English Sun - Vol 2 by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.13 | 5 ratings

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David Cross And Andrew Keeling - English Sun - Vol 2
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by rushfan4
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars PLEASE IGNORE THE STARS AND READ THE REVIEW

When all is said and done this may well end up being the strangest review ever written on Prog Archives, but I am going to give it a go. Mr. Cross sent me a copy of this CD when I volunteered to review it on behalf of Prog Archives and after a couple of listens I came to the conclusion that "Houston, we have a problem". I am seriously not qualified to review this collection of musical pieces. So I set it aside and decided that it was probably better if I didn't write a review for it. A few months have passed and my conscience started nagging me that since I had volunteered to write a review for this CD, that I really should give it a go; especially, when I looked this morning and saw that there had not been any reviews done, except for one 1-star rating.

Mr. Cross is fairly well known around these parts, but for those who don't know who he is, he played violin and viola on a few fairly well known masterpieces from a somewhat obscure band called King Crimson. Mr. Cross has released a number of albums since his days with King Crimson, however, I am not familiar with them and I am unable to compare this album to those solo albums. I am not quite sure what I was expecting when I volunteered to review this album, but I suppose it was something along the lines of "It will be so cool to hear Larks' Tongues In Aspic revisited". I am sorry to say that that was not the case here. What we have here is what the artists describe as Electric Chamber Music. Mr. Cross has teamed up with flautist Andrew Keeling on this album that consists almost entirely of violin and flute.

The most important thing that I would like to note is that this combination of violin and flute has resulted in a collection of absolutely beautiful musical pieces in the classical music vein. But here is where we have another problem on a progressive rock website. There is no rock on this album. To a certain extent, this is like trying to fit the square in the space meant for the triangle. In my opinion at least, it just doesn't fit in with the musical theme of this website. Where I see this album having great value is for a candlelight dinner with your significant other helping to set a relaxing and romantic mood, although the beauty and the quiet peacefulness of the music might have the undesired effect of being too relaxing and just putting you and/or your significant other to sleep.

In trying to fit this in within the rating scheme provided here at Prog Archives I feel that it is best to rate it with 2 stars as an album for collectors/fans only. Since I don't feel that it qualifies as progressive rock music it would be difficult to say that it was a masterpiece of progressive rock music or even an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. As I previously said the music is gorgeous, and thus disqualifies the album in my mind from being rated 1-star as poor. This left me with the two-star and three-star options and this is where personal preferences and tastes came into play. Although, I personally think the music is beautiful, it really isn't the type of music that I am going to ordinarily reach for. However, I believe that fans of David Cross and Andrew Keeling or fans of "Electric Chamber Music" might really enjoy this album. Unfortunately, since this is not my normal fare I am not certain how this music compares in relation to similar type music, but it seems to me that the quality of playing would be appealing to fans of relaxing music.

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 Exiles by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.70 | 30 ratings

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Exiles
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars David Cross was of course the violinist for KING CRIMSON on the "Larks Tongues In Aspic", "Starless And Bible Black" and "Red" albums. A couple of things surprised me about this album, first of all how heavy it is at times recalling those three KING CRIMSON albums I already mentioned. Second is that David Cross doesn't dominate the sound here, in fact I know people who have complained at how little violin there is on here. Guests include Robert Fripp, Peter Hammill, John Wetton among others.

"Exiles" is of course that classic KING CRIMSON track we all love. A spacey, electronic intro gives way to the music after 1 1/2 minutes. It still doesn't sound like "Exiles" until before 2 1/2 minutes. John Wetton then comes in vocally and I like the guitar that follows after 3 minutes and later after 6 minutes where it sounds even better. So uplifting. Violin follows. It ends as it began. "Tonk" opens with a nice heavy KING CRIMSON-like soundscape. Peter Hammill comes in vocally not really sounding like himself at all. More high pitched. Fripp is offering up some angular solos. Cross is content here to let Fripp and Hammill take the spotlight. "Slippy Slide" opens with tribal-like drumming as the violin lights it up. Sax follows. This is heavy stuff. "Duo" is the Cross and Frpp show as we get smothered in atmosphere from those Frippertroncs as violin comes in slowly. It all turns more powerful as contrasts continue. The atmosphere is so strong it's hard to breathe. Incredible track. "This Is Your Life" puts the focus on the lyrics that Peter Sinfield wrote, while John Wetton sings them. A laid back tune.

"Fast" is just that,a fast instrumental with in your face guitar, chunky bass and scorching violin. An excellent rhythm section on this one. Ripping guitar too. An outstanding instrumental. "Troppo" features Fripp and Hammill once again. It's experimental to start then the vocal melodies come in followed by vocals. This pattern continues. Heaviness comes and goes as well. The guitar during the prolonged instrumental section is outstanding. "Here" opens with piano, sax and drums. Flute too on this one. I like how mellow it is then it kicks in before 4 minutes. The guitar is on fire 5 1/2 minutes in as they hit us with all they got. A killer instrumental. It settles back after 7 1/2 minutes but the heavness isn't finished just yet.

A must for KING CRIMSON fans in my opinion.

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 Memos From Purgatory by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.05 | 8 ratings

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Memos From Purgatory
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Certainly not your typical jazz album, am I right dear readers ? We're talking about King Crimson inspired (for sure,he has to be, being with them for so long). Every song setting its own mood, some optimistic, some dark (I like it this way) and some bizarre (well, obvious choice would be Bizarre Bazaar, strange, but funny play with words) ones. This isn't by far bad album, even it's set into dark 80's (they are finally almost over and also I was born, let's celebrate and dance in the streets), even melancholic ones (closing Basking In the Blue). I'm slowly getting used to his music, which is weird (provides some maniacal laugh), but interesting. Drums sometimes sounds like drum-machine (big, sad face from me), but lack of vocals doesn't mean anything bad, let's stay instrumental for The Greater Good. For the big Enjoy.

4(-), sometimes minimalistic (I'm starting to like this word too), but managing to be interesting enough to get your attention.

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 Closer Than Skin by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.00 | 14 ratings

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Closer Than Skin
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Nice cover, innovative (I have to say). This is review on (let's call it) request, or at least suggestion. I have this album for some time, so I'm able to write this. But I wasn't about to do it anytime soon. Nevermind, let's begin with reviewing.

This is music that is not jazz at all, I never heard any his previous album (except his work with Crimson guys of course), so I can't compare. But one thing I know for sure, this album can be enjoyed by many. Yes, this is not one of these "only-for-elite", or these where you have to "suffer thirteen repeated listens to begin enjoying it", nope. This is good album that has a lot to offer and is offering it straight from first listen. Are We One, just slight hint, reminds me deserts, Arabian songs. Second one, States of Deception brings on little bit of promised jazz in "intro", but then it's more like something that's not so easy to describe. Because of violin, it makes everything brand new and original. One have to wonder how it's possible (it's just violin, isn't it ?), but hell, here we are and it sounds good (note that I'm not stick with second song anymore, more like talking about this album in general).

4(+), there are of course disadvantages. Guitar solos are here, yeah. But riffs sounds pretty much the same and it beats it a little bit. It's pleasant to listen (dark music a little bit, not so optimistic though except Awful Love of course), it satisfies you, but this is not so big fault that would prevent me from giving masterpiece rating. There are others of course, but in overall, it's very good album. And yes, this interesting violin can sounds disharmonic at times (mostly in climax parts).Of course, it's dominated by violin and as violin experimentation album it's masterpiece, but other instruments here sounds like just accompanying their leader, string instrument. Which is great though. So let's take this as it is and overlook this.

And I wondered why everyone so far gave 4 stars. But anyway, I'll do the same, because this feeling of repeated background is somehow fault for close listening (thorough, thinking about music you're listening, evaluating, you know).

So to answer the unspoken question, "What's closer than skin ?" It's music of course, so penetrating that it can get under your skin. Both in good and bad way of this word. In case of this album, we're talking about very good way. Almost masterpiece.

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 Low Flying Aircraft by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.03 | 6 ratings

BUY
Low Flying Aircraft
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A lot of works by which musicians who were related to King Crimson participated and formed bands exist. They might always give the listener the expectation and information and be offering the enjoyment to music for the listener. The music that derives from various bands affords us the enjoyment enough as a relation.

The listener might have taken delight in music from another angle as diversity of the music that derived from a band active by the item of Prog Rock in the 80's. And, the change and advancement were indeed provided for Prog Rock and other music in the 80's when music accomplished the revolution. Band..age..catch..always..change..grope for.The work by which the musician who was related to King Crimson in the flow as one of the enjoyments participated will be able to discover the fact from which an interesting work is announced as a correlation of music.

Music exists as various elements in Music in the 80's in the deriving flow the listener the existence of this project a little valuable. And, the listener might have expected a good chemical reaction for them for the performance of musicians who were related to this project.

This band was a project done by drum player's Dan Maurer and guitar player's Jim Juhn. To start this project, they appointed David Cross and Keith Tippett. Dan Maurer and Jim Juhn showed deference to King Crimson. And, the listener might have [me]ed it to the only work by these four people the zeal of music by the shadow and the derivation of King Crimson in the period. Music by this member might have had the approval or disapproval at that time when the age of 1987 was considered. Appointment of age when this work was announced and David Cross to retire from performance almost. And, they might have created music of participated by the musician who derived from King Crimson not feeling them for a fact quite new. This album left the name as valuable music with an experimental element and relations as shape of the band that belonged exactly in the age. There is little shadow of King Crimson though David Cross and Keith Tippett participate in this album. It is music that should catch as one of the deriving music in close relation to the age. And, this project is a work of which the color of Dan Maurer and Jim Juhn has gone out strongly.

In "Sybilization", the atmosphere of the violin that flows in a piano flow and the space with the anacatesthesia is a feature. The tension is continued and it advances slowly. A glossy melody continues.

"Fourth Dimension" uses the rhythm of seven in the basis. The melody of the violin in close relation to the arpeggio of a beautiful guitar gives the listener a beautiful anacatesthesia and a peculiar impression. Such music might be an original music exactly character by this project.

A complex melody starts from "Baptism by Fire" in the form of fade In. A basic rhythm of the theme takes the rhythm of five. The wind instrument twines from the melody with the tension and the tune advances while shifting in the form of Free Jazz. The tension continues.

"Poolside" starts with heavy atmosphere. DX7 of Eric Drew Feldman that participates in the recording of the album contributes in this tune. Atmosphere advances with heavy feeling. The element of the improvisation might be strong.

"Abstract Blue" shifts to the flow with the improvisation from the theme with unique a little at once. This tune might be strongly colored by Improvisation. Feeling advanced of the band in union keeps originality. The tune gradually becomes intense and twines round another theme. The development of this part has succeeded splendidly. The end of the tune returns to the theme of the start.

"Moronathon" has the start of which the rhythm of the percussion instrument goes out ahead in the narration. The line of constant Bass is continued and the tension is kept. The rhythm is important in this tune.

In "Amnesia", originality and the anacatesthesia might be strong tunes in the tune of this album. The part where the sound of the flute twined round the composition of an intermittent rhythm originally of Bass will be reminiscent of an Oriental melody. And, the part where the theme is not felt while continuing a constant rhythm is emphasized and it advances. It might be a tune that remarkably exactly showed the age when the sound etc. of the machine parts used for the age and the tune are considered.

"Reflection" starts from a beautiful piano melody where the DeLay effect hangs. The anacatesthesia is continued and it shifts to the part where uneasiness is called. It advances as the part of Free Jazz twining round an experimental element. The violin contributes to the tune. The state that Improvisation goes out strongly is continued and the tune advances.

"What Did You Do" has a different theme in the tune of this album. As for the flow with a complex melody and ensemble in the element of Funk, the part of Fusion might be a little strong. However, the atmosphere of the tune that the band does is consistent.

"Radically Conservative" starts in the shape connected from the part of Coda of "What Did You Do". The melody that there is an anacatesthesia in the rhythm that looks like the Afro music has good atmosphere. The wind instrument twines intermittently while continuing the rhythm. Suitably to the tune that decorates the end as the entire flow of the album. might

This consistent music develops the music character to reflect the times exactly as the only project that they left. And, it is possible to talk about the performance and four ideas that did as a part with originality.

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