[sic] Magazine

Rocketnumbernine – You Reflect Me

You Reflect Me – a good title for brothers who specialize in improvised music. Named after a Sun-Ra track they are setting out their stall – and this album is made up of tracks built from improve jams. Having said that the first track is not very improvised sounding or complicated but maybe that explains the title ‘Cretin’. It builds metronomicaly around repetitive rhythm and this feel persists through tracks 2 & 3 although 2 (The Bow & the Arrow) is more Free Jazz leaning with 3 (Doodlebug) hitting a 7 minute, Kraut Rock, head-nodding groove. Rene (Forgive Me) is lighter, an effective sketch of xylophone electronica. The hissing accompanying Pages is like a rain forest buzz and the drumming appropriately tribal, leading to a sound more like a laboratory. An insistent purr interjects in the intro of Magnum Opus ‘You Reflect Me’, a funky cat ring-tone. The sound on this track flows in the most complete way, perhaps inevitably it stands out. It disappears like a vacuum has sucked it away around the 3.15 minute mark then comes back with some jazz drums and melodic electronica that builds quickly to a euphoric plateau, a Doors like shamanic shuffle, fading on a gently vibrating coda.

The second half of the album is stronger than the first as it delves into more electronica settings than jazz improv. The problem with the improv is that of putting lightning in a bottle, it works in the ‘live’ moment more than on recorded medium. In jazz improv often revolves around a well known standard, you can go pretty far out from the starting point, once people understand the root it can grow to produce a mutant that re-invents the original. In ‘rock’ it can sometimes sound like wibbling around till you hit a groove that works. The sporadic genius of Krautrock shows what can happen when it works. This album is occasionally marvelous – overall it sounds like a path to more structured ‘songs’ that could make an amazing second album.

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