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The Iridium Controversy

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Album Review

This Boston-based ensemble's fifth album for the Cuneiform label finds it continuing to explore a unique musical territory it has carved out for itself, a strange shadowland somewhere on the border between art and pop music. Still led by pianist/composer and founding member Erik Lindgren, the quartet plays in a style that incorporates elements of minimalism, punk rock, experimental jazz, and 20th century classical music. Repetitive figures will call to mind Philip Glass, while jagged and complex rhythms conjure up the ghost of Igor Stravinsky and distorted electric-guitar jousts with swinging jazz flute. The resulting music is nowhere near as anarchic as the description of it might sound, though there are moments of near-chaos that finally coalesce into a carefully-constructed whole. Highlights on this album include two reprises of material from the band's 1980s repertoire (the chugging "Lost in the B-Zone," here given a more hip-hop-flavored arrangement, and the Roger Miller composition "Beat of the Mesozoic") and a gorgeous, cyclical piece by windman Ken Field entitled, evocatively, "Centrifuge." The best way to introduce yourself to this band is still to go back to its 1980s recordings for the Ace of Hearts label, but if you like what you hear there, you'll be sure to love Iridium Controversy.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in 1980, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic play a unique mix of rock, punk, classical, minimalism, and free-form music, with occasional forays into even more unexpected directions, including spoken word performance and African-American spirituals. The group's diverse instrumentation has included piano, synthesizers, guitar, saxophones, flutes, and electronic and acoustic percussion. Birdsongs began as a side project by Roger Miller and Martin Swope, who were members of the Boston band Mission of Burma....
Full Bio
The Iridium Controversy, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Sep 16, 2003

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