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17 May 2009

Antennas Erupt! - 'Magical Energy' (S-S)

Antennas Erupt! - I guess the exclamation mark is part of it - are some young guys from a jazz background, with a California vibe.  Though the horns lean on melody they display a strong predilection for getting 'free with it; still, this record is a million miles from some neo-freejazz ESP-worshipping skronk fest.  Instead they bring in some grooving rock structures, and melodies that suggest the finer folk-dance flavors of Black Saint and Sinner Lady, Liberation Music Orchestra, and Carla Bley's work (all of which will be visited in future installments of DUSAET).  It's the good side of fusion, though this bears no relation to stuff like Tony Wiliams Lifetime or Bitches Brew.  Antennas Erupt! are into the good life - fun and energetic, driving on the freeway with the top down, eating at reasonably priced ethnic restaurants - but with a purpose.  Serious, but not too serious.  Fun but not too frivolous.  They're willing to sing a bit, and compose some great aggro-classical counterpoint, but open up the throttle a few times too.    I've seen them live and can vouch that they are a brilliant live experience; despite the relative 'accessibility' of their sound I think they might exist outside of any 'scene', and thus recognition may continue to 'elude' them.   Versatility is the name of their game and I have no doubts they could shift between a totally direct message and the wildest explorations of the outer soundosphere.  Plus, you gotta love a band with a song called "Healthy Vaginal Walls" that doesn't sound like the Mentors.  S-S has done a lovely edition here in white vinyl with a cool blue and white screened foldout cover; I'm not sure if there's any still available but it's definitely worth tracking this down!

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