|Electric Outlet: On!
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-11-10 15:16:03
You'll go a long way to find tighter keyboard/guitar interplay than Electric Outlet, with synths and Hammonds and Rhodes counterpointing Satriani-inspired guitar wizardry that focuses more on tonality and finesse and mood than on sheer fretboard gymnastics. You'll go a long way to find tighter drum/bass interplay than Electric Outlet, with one of the fastest, most insistent bass-lines you'll hear this side of jazz. You'll go a long way to find ... well, you get the picture.
On! is all-instrumental jazzy progressive fusion at its best - played by a quartet of artists well known in European session musician circles. They comprise the standard ensemble of bass, guitar, keyboards and drums, and all instruments are masterfully played with none of them taking a back seat at any point in any section. Each instrument is cleanly separated in the mix, but without the in-your-face insistence of an Echolyn, or all those over-produced solo-artist albums.
The keyword when describing On! is energy, and you can tell that these guys were having fun. Even in the rare quieter moments there's an intensity that won't let go. The bass creates an insistent groove in most tracks, the occasional insertion of a spoken phrase gives it a new-agey edge. The odd song titles like "Tekky:, "Odd Garage", and the closing duo of "Miles Ahead" and "Miles Away", leave you with no clue about what the song is supposed to mean. Not that it matters - it's instrumental, it's fusion, and it rocks in the same way that CAB, or the new Atlanta-based Speechless rocks you.
Some tracks have that 'samey' quality that haunts all-instrumental music, but listen closely and you'll be rewarded with fusion that ranges from bluesy funk through jazz, symphonic prog, and some sections have an almost metallic tinge to them. There's a jam-band atmosphere to the music, yet it's tight, it's composed, and it grips you by the scruff of the neck and it won't let go.
Recommended - particularly for fusion fans.