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A Flat Inside a Fog - The Cat That Was a Dog

Bablicon

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Album Review

Bablicon's third album is a sprawling behemoth of post-rock, its 16 songs and 64 minutes darting among handfuls of jazz, rock, and contemporary compositional styles. Sometimes these are light, playful art rock miniatures in the spirit of 1970s (Brian Eno, John Cale, and Robert Wyatt). At other spots there's challenging prog rock-jazz fusion along the lines of Soft Machine; at others, there's a clamor akin to outside 1960s and 1970s jazz ensembles of the Cecil Taylor type; and at yet others, it could pass for the somber orchestrated soundtrack to an art film. Then there are some hardcore experimental passages of wildly reverberating instruments and musique concrete, although generally the tone is much more accessible. For the most part it's instrumental, though it might have been advisable to play up the singing more, since the vocal opener, "Blue Hawaii," shows the band at their most appealing, definitely playing up the side that owes the most to Eno and Cale. There aren't many artists, in the "post-rock" camp or otherwise, that travel such wide stylistic ground. Though it's longer on eclecticism than emotional engagement, the scope is challenging and impressive, with the quirky atmospheres varying between stark and whimsical.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The trio that comprise Bablicon — the Diminisher, Marta Tennae, and Blue Hawaii — play music that draws from experimental jazz, fusion, rock, Indian music, and contemporary composition, but elude easy fits into any of these categories. In that respect they do fit in with the late-1990s Chicago "post-rock" scene. Presumably, they are from Chicago, as their debut LP, In a Different City, was recorded in an abandoned machine shop there; indeed, it was so close to Chicago's elevated train...
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A Flat Inside a Fog - The Cat That Was a Dog, Bablicon
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