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Disen Gage - The Big Adventure CD (album) cover

THE BIG ADVENTURE

Disen Gage

 

Eclectic Prog

3.76 | 41 ratings

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Steve Conrad
4 stars In the presence of Madcap Genius

Here's what i think

The album art shows ancient cave etchings. Superimposed over these priceless representations of elongated, archetypal, bizarre-to-modern-eyes drawings, the band name is scrawled as though graffiti, DISEN GAGE WAS HERE.

It's got an ornate picture frame surrounding a slice of this cave wall, and beneath that tableau, the album title, "The Big Adventure".

The feckless and heedless modern goes on safari, traipsing through scenes and sites that are rendered spiritual by virtue of longevity, solemnity, ritual, and innate beauty- and leave thereon their shallow scratches, taking selfies to send to equally vapid FB "friends", and crowing about their latest exploits.

Lookit me, ain't I grand?

Meanwhile, the Watchers Observe

And here's the genius part. DISENGAGE is certainly a moving target, a collective of amazing musicians pulled into the center, I suspect, of guitarist and founding member Konstantin Mochalov's orbit- the vision and the search for what lasts, has worth, endures, and how to confront the omnipresent idiocy of those who would heedlessly desecrate what they will stubbornly not see.

The vision includes cinema

The album art displays a provocative truth- one culture builds over another builds over another...and so on. The ancient must oftentimes be excavated, one seeming anachronism alongside another. One jarring detail that doesn't fit beside an entire feature.

In this album, the cinematic demonstrates this truth.

On one hand we hear what sounds like absurdist art music, and at another point, spaghetti western crazily spinning away into the distance.

We hear funhouse kaleidoscopes and calliopes, ominous classical chords from a grand piano introducing a theme, only to build...

And damned if nearly every track seems to be building to a fascinating finish only to abruptly end.

Genius I say!

Each musician certainly brings a lot to the table- polished, poised, pristine playing. (And how do you like that alliteration?) But listen! Hear the accordion in its wistful, sweet iterations, the tuba, the trumpets, strings, the jangling dissonances of clean guitar chords in various voicings...

Only to build into slabs of power, walls of sound and majesty, and then to devolve into chaos and clamor. Hmm, sounds a lot like civilizations rising, growing, developing, becoming arrogant, and with predictable hubris, over- reaching, and disappearing.

Furthermore

The instruments are often used in novel and wonderful ways. DISEN GAGE does not seem content to blend in, to copy, to follow trodden paths.

No, rather to innovate, to push, to explore, to grapple with newness, a sort of musical adventure of its own- one that does not desecrate and destroy with casual mindlessness, but instead builds upon the broad shoulders of those who went before.

The guitars will jangle, soar, squawk, and sing. The bass rumbles and harrumphs and wallows like an elephant in a cool pool on a hot day.

And those crisp drums accentuating, developing, massaging the sounds to deepen and broaden and widen the impact.

We hear the herky-jerky ballroom sounds, the ominous and dark space musings, surreal Dali-esque jazz shifting and morphing into lustrous chords only to become Romantic era and then of course a carnival.

Let's bring this to the FIN

Well, for me this is madcap genius writ large. I doubt it's for everyone- what art ever is?

My rating- 4.5 eternal etchings.

Steve Conrad | 4/5 |

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