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Work, The: Rubber Cage (reissue)

For those seeking a point of entry to The Work that might offer at least slightly more familiar terrain, Rubber Cage may be the way to go. The music, originally released in 1991, seems to look forward and back all at once. In additional to The Work's incandescent blurring of impulses, improv, experiment and structure, the opening moments recall the brittle soft textures and deconstructed rhythms of The Magic Band circa Trout Mask Replica. By the time we reach track six, "1992", the music seems to predict some of the more esoteric guitar excursions of David Torn, yet to occur in various and off-time stretches with Bruford Levin Upper Extremities. And still, there's no question that this is The Work.

Unlike Slow Crimes and its descendant stage version, Live in Japan, Rubber Cage feels more finished, surfaces polished and edges made slightly convex to lessen the usual on-contact bleeding. Which makes many of the pieces, while not typical of anything else, more recognizable. None more so than "1992". At about six minutes in the length it's the longest here and the most conventionally structured. The music unfolds in a deliberately developed arc. It's a toolkit of sorts, displaying most of the band's preoccupations with odd and shifting time signatures here superimposed one atop the other for a stunningly powerful invocation of phase techniques impregnated by crisp and agitated textures, noise melody remains gratifyingly absent and a more traditional exposition of form. The timing proves especially conflicted, slippery and interesting, again proving predictive of the sort of off-center and irreconcilable patterns that give shape to pieces like Bruford Levin's "Cerulean Sea". Another chapter in the unfinished volume whose working title remains "Art is not a mirror, it is a hammer."

Track Listing
1) Poise
2) Abdomen
3) Felt
4) Commerce and Despair
5) Dangerfish
6) 1992
7) Coloured Water
8) Stone
9) Trauma
10) Knee
11) Jay
12) Quack
13) Hell
14) Hobo Stove
15) The Great Climax

Added: February 20th 2007
Reviewer: Kerry Leimer
Related Link: ReR Megacorp USA
Hits: 2487
Language: english

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