After the break-up of Brand X, bassist extraordinaire Percy Jones packed up his bags and moved to New York City, eventually recording during 1988/89 what would become Cape Catastrophe. Now being reissued by Gonzo Multimedia, this collection of eight tracks, which run the gamut from jazz-fusion, electronica, and bouncy ambient, can be enjoyed by longtime fans as well as new recruits who are just now discovering the talents of this bass legend.
The list of instruments that Jones utilized here (he plays everything on the album) includes; Wal V fretless bass, Casio C101 synthesizer, Roland sequencer, Yamaha RX 11 drum machine, Korg digital delay, FSK custom sync tone encoder/decoder, Tascam 244 four track recorder, and a Casio DAT machine. Remember, this was the late '80s, so some of this material sounds a bit dated, especially the drum machine and sequencer parts, but most of us are listening purely for those lovely & acrobatic fretless bass lines and tones, of which there are many great ones here. The title track is a great extended romp, filled with funk grooves and jazzy electronica, while the endearing "Slick" features some of the best melodic lead bass on the album. "Hex" is more of an upbeat fusion piece, containing some complex bass & synth flurries, while the massive, near 24-minute "Barrio" is a bass lovers dream come true, with Jones displaying his incredible talent for creating lovely textures and melodies, and oh yeah, some serious chops as well. "Tunnels" has some nice popping bass and spooky synth, and "Thin Line" again shows just how commanding Jones is on the fretless bass. Look for some appealing sounds on the upbeat "Symphony in F Major", a track featuring some clever arrangements, though somewhat brought down by the dated drum programming.
All in all, plenty of bass fun to be had on Cape Catastrophe. Composition-wise, this is pretty impressive stuff, and as always, Percy does not disappoint as far as the bass playing goes. Some might scoff at the DIY/one-man-band sounds, which is clearly dated, but there is plenty of good material to enjoy if you can keep an open mind.
1) The Lie
2) Cape Catastrophe
7) Thin Line
8) Symphony in F Major