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Bone: Uses Wrist Grab

Most people are going to blink and miss this supertrio, and that will be a damn shame, especially since so much attention is paid to groups like Transatlantic and Platypus. Bone is similarly comprised of members from different groups: guitarist Nick Didkovsky of Doctor Nerve, bassist Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine, and drummer John Roulat of Forever Einstein. Hugh Hopper resides in the UK, while Didkovsky makes New York his home, and Roulat lives in Connecticut. No, Hopper did not cross the Atlantic to play & record, and therein lies the magic. Hugh Hopper is, well, Hugh Hopper—his name is proof enough. Didkovsky, known for his unorthodox formulae with Docter Nerve, also utilizes music software programs called Machinecore and Hell Café. Roulat's peculiarities behind the drumkit are matched perfectly to the musical dramas.

Nick Didkovsky mixed the final results for Uses Wrist Grab after the others had sent in their material, and has done a superb job of fooling the novice into thinking these were real-time improvisations—at no time will anyone detect any seams. "To Laugh Uncleanly At The Nurse" begins with stereo-panned guitar sprints Robert Fripp wishes he'd written; the frenzied solos are offset by Hopper's muzzled bass. Roulat's percussive phrases are almost melodic, as the alternating tom-snare-cymbal notes seem to comform to another composition only he can hear. "Foster Wives, Trophy Hair" is more groove-driven; Hopper delivers a line reminiscent of the theme from Peter Gunn. The guitars' tones vary from buzzsaw-precise to oily & dirty. If "Gumball Rally" is ever remade, the first half could be edited into the title theme, it would work perfectly. Power chords and heavy-handed drumming evoking hydraulic pressure, "Chaos, No Pasties" is instrumental metal that could reside comfortably on Djam Karet's Burning The Hard City, if even more frantic.

The Hopper-penned "Big Bombay" sounds like Pink Floyd—had Gilmour been sacked, that is, and Tony Iommi temporarily added (with Rick Wright under sedation, out for the duration); solos by a whacked-out Fripp. "Hotel Romeo" is a solo percussion piece dubbed in multiple passes; the oddly-titled "Danzig" is a little short to make much sense of, but the syrupy atmosphere coaxed by the fuzzed bass and rolling cymbals is delightful. "Jungle Rev" is a menagerie of supernatural timbres smelted down into protoplasmic bricks from fuzzed bass & loops, minimalist percussion, and Didkovsky's manipulation of the Machinecore program. One of the best tracks yet, "Sara's Wrist Grab" revisits groovier territory from the album's first quarter, restoring the prominence of Roulat's talent. The angular guitar solo is both amusing and inspiring, almost as if a spirit's warped vowels were being channelled via guitar. "Overlife, Part 3" and "Overlife, Part 1" sum up a single long piece which displays the trio at their versatile best. "Green Dansette," "We'll Ask The Questions Around Here, Part 2" and "Little End Or Beginning" further extend the wrist-grabbing horizons. Fans of Djam Karet, Doctor Nerve, Forever Einstein, and Ensemble Nimbus will revel in the pastiche-collective of Uses Wrist Grab. With a total of fourteen tracks, there is much to be discovered via repeat listens!

Added: May 18th 2003
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Score:
Related Link: Cuneiform Records
Hits: 2677
Language: english

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