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As Seen from Above

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Album Review

With the unusual lineup of two bassists and a drummer, Chicago trio Dianogah creates a completely unique sound by bringing instruments normally used as a rhythm section to the forefront. Predominantly instrumental, As Seen From Above is richly textured and well-crafted. Jason Harvey and Jay Ryan's dexterous bass work interweaves perfectly with Kip McCabe's precision drumming almost as if the three instruments were one. The songs are intricately composed so that each note flows effortlessly into the next, creating a particular mood for each song. For example, "Between the Ship and the Land" has a certain melancholy feel while "What is Your Landmass?" is more upbeat and light-hearted. The only weakness of the album is Ryan's half-hearted vocals. It's almost as if the band decided someone had to sing so Ryan stepped forth by default. However, although Ryan isn't the most talented vocalist, his flat, apathetic voice strangely fits the music, especially on "Spiral Bound."

Customer Reviews

My favorite instrumental band...

Dianogah is without a doubt my favorite instrumental band. Why? Because while most other instrumental bands focus on making the most of the fact that no one has to concentrate on singing by playing new time signatures and new tempos every other measure, Dianogah let's their instruments do the talking for them (except when they don't and one of them actually sings which is also a treat). In short Dianogah is one of the few bands that understands the importance of melody, something that is sincerely missing from most bands these days.

pretty darn awesome

it's so good to have thoughtful instrumental melody take center stage, and with a timbre that sets itself apart from the guitar driven madness that usually dominates instrumental music. well done!


Formed: 1995 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Named after a garbage-loving monster from the original Star Wars film, Chicago's post-rock unit Dianogah comprised bassists Jay Ryan and Jason Harvey in tandem with drummer Kip McCabe. The group debuted in 1995 with the single "100% Tree," followed early the next year by "Garden Airplane Trap"; these two 7"s were subsequently collected as the EP Old Material, New Format. Dianogah's first full-length effort, As Seen from Above, arrived in 1997, and a series of compilation appearances -- including...
Full Bio
As Seen from Above, Dianogah
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