HyNGE - Aural Innovations Review
HyNGE is a band project consisting of Doug Michael on guitar and loops, Rob Rosen on fretless bass, keyboards, and percussion, and Dan Buch on acoustic and electric drums and percussion. In some ways a power trio version of The Outer Darkness, Michael's Torn and Holdsworth influences are in evidence as the band blasts through a set of rockin', jazzy, ambient, spacey instrumentals.
The discs opens with "Detour" which reminded me of King Crimson with a jazzier edge. Buch's drumming is superb and adds an on-the-mark sense of timing and complexity to the music. Michael still rocks hard on the guitar blending elements of Fripp and Steve Morse. "Hologrammatical Human" starts off with an intro of varied percussion and whining extended guitar licks. Rosen's heavy bottom-end fretless soon kicks in and the band settles into a steady groove. Michael gets lots of mileage out of single notes that sing with just as much passion as his more frenzied leads. Lots of David Torn style ambient soundscape licks that go perfectly with Buch's drumming. Kind of like a more rockin' version of Torn's Cloud About Mercury. "Nightcrawler" is another winner that opens with spacey ambient guitar licks, intermittent blasts of Rosen's fretless, and Buch controlling the pace with his drums, soon developing into a steady ambient fusion piece. Like "Hologrammatical Human" this too has great percussion/guitar combos.
My favorite track on the disc is "Frank", another track that begins with an ambient fusion feel. Bits of Holdsworth guitar and some Discipline-era Crimson all mix it up and there are some cool freakout moments that showcase Michael as both a proficient and creative guitarist. The pace builds slowly but steadily throughout the song's 11-minute length, maintaining intensity and steady but interesting rhythms. Rock, jazz, and space are all part of the sonic palette on which HyNGE paints it's varied soundscapes.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz
From Aural Innovations #13