Dylan Group is the all-instrumental project of
percussionist Adam Pierce and jungle dj Dylan Cristy, two stalwarts of the
New York underground dance scene.
Dylan Group/ Him (Bubblecore, 1997) was a (mediocre) essay on dub, but
It's All About (Bubble Core, 1997) retooled
drum'n'bass, bebop and hip hop for the
Both members alternate on vibraphone.
With references to the Modern Jazz Quartet and covers of John Cage and
the duo declared its avantgarde, jazz and ambient influences.
The album succeeds both as convoluted dance music (Bittersweet) and as
dilated psychedelic jam (Gazer).
A stronger latin and lounge accent permeates
More Adventures In Lying Down (Bubble Core, 1999), recorded as
The album opens programmatically with a Brazilian cover.
Some Kind Of Lullaby applies the Tortoise
technique to that theme and comes up with a lengthy jam that eventually
decades into an interlude of percussions and fades away on the wings of a
trumpet-driven jazz serenade.
Connection Is The Key is a monastic song for the post-rock generation:
ghostly voices scan a melody while the rhythm section sketches a funk-jazz
rhythm; a dub break leads to a vibes-based lounge melody.
Spaghetti and The Legend Of Kid Bullseye merrely reiterate
the concept, while Borderline Baby emphasizes neurotic pattern
The "gamelan on acid" of Kulit And Ketoprak serves as a nice break
between so many post-modern ruminations.
The albums' tour de force, the 14-minute
And You Thought The Cowboy Always Won, offers a surreal
collage of styles at a galloping pace, opening with
easy-listening vocalizing and wind fanfare, then indulging in a
dreamy solo of the vibraphone and accelerating to minimalistic/gamelan
The premises are simple enough, but they lend themselves to a synthesis of
lounge music, futuristic pop, prog-rock and post-rock, four of the most
abused themes at the turn of the century.
Ur-Klang Search (Bubble Core, 2000), on which
Pierce and Cristy are joined by
Tyler Pistilli (trumpet and percussion) and Scott MCGovern (bass),
is even more explicit than its
predecessor in merging Faust/Can avant-rock (Let It Sit,
King Crimson's convoluted jamming (Crunch),
the Canterbury school of progressive-rock (Julito's Way),
Steve Reich's minimalism (the delicious carillon on vibes that fuels
Avila, slowly ceding the lead to bass and drums acrobatics),
jazz-rock (the longest track, Julito's Way, a brisk Latin-tinged jam),
and Tortoise's post-rock (Towers Of Dub,
which offers more vibes repetition, loud bass groove, syncopated drumming).
Dylan Group's fusion music is best formalized in
Running In Pain (eight minutes): a cubist melody is vivisected by
Cristy's vibes and the bass, juxtaposed to Pierce's distorted guitar riffs.
Division Long (seven minutes) is another masterpiece of subtlety,
mixing dub, jazz, Sixties' easy-listening, dissonance and time dilation.
The Road I Know is an essay in stylistic mutation, beginning in a
percussive fashion and transitioning to a brass-driven jazz fanfare.
Cristy proves his worth as a vibraphonist with the (languid) sonata for
tinkling bells of DA3, and throughout the album with his intricate
and nerve-wracking patterns of repetitive patterns.
Smooth, slick, elegant, but also emotion-less for most of the journey,
Dylan Group's sound is sometimes too obviously minimalistic (repetitive)
and sometimes too centered on the vibraphone.
Adam Pierce is also the multi-instrumentalist in charge of
Mice Parade (an anagram of his name).
The Meaning Of Boodley Baye (Bubble Core, 1998) wove a rich
tapestry of styles, that led to the symphonic style of
Ramda (Fatcat, 1999), a dazzling take on
dub, jazz and techno.
Collaborations (After Hours, 2000) is what the title says, and
Doug Scharin, Curtis Harvey, Nobukazu Takemura and Jim O'Rourke,
but most tracks sound like soothing new age music (The Fall Of Andalucia)
rather than brainy chamber improvisation.
But centerpiece Mystery Brethren Vironment is 1990s' post-rock
plus 1970s' kraut-rock.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da Carlo Maramotti)
Dylan Group e` il progetto del percussionista Adam Pierce e del dj jungle Dylan Cristy, due animatori della scena dance
underground di New York.
Dylan Group/Him (Bubblecore, 1997) era una (mediocre) composizione in dub, ma It's All About (Bubblecore, 1997), rinnova
drum'n'bass, bebop e hip hop per la generazione Tortoise. Entrambi i membri si alternano al vibrafono. Con riferimenti
al Modern Jazz Quartet e covers di John Cage e Aphex Twin, il duo dichiara le sue influenze jazz, avantgarde e ambient.
Il disco ha successo sia come dance contorta (Bittersweet) sia come jam psichedeliche dilatate (Gazer).
Un forte accento latino e lounge permea More Adventures in Lyng Down (Bubblecore, 1999), registrato come quartetto.
Connection is The Key and Stay progredisce i riferimenti ai Tortoise e deriva direttamente dalla jungle.
I dadaistici 14 minuti di And You Thought The Cowboy Always Won e l'incubo gamelan Kuilt And Ketoprak mostrano le
infinite risorse dei due leaders.
Ur-Klang Search (Bubblecore, 2000) fonde l'avant rock di Faust/Can (Crunch), la scuola progressive di Canterbury (Julito's Way),
il minimalismo di Steve Reich (Avila), e il post-rock dei Tortoise (Towers of Dub). Questa musica ancor pi difficile.
L'uso di nastri e dissonanze in Division Long emula l'avanguardia. Pierce e Cristy sono aiutati da Tyler Pistilli (tromba e
percussioni) e Scott McGovern (basso).
Adam Pierce anche il polistrumentista titolare dei Mice Parade. The Meaning Of Boodley Baye (Bubblecore, 1998) intreccia
un'arazzo di stili che porta allo stile sinfonico di Ramda (FatCat, 1999), una luminosa diapositiva in dub, jazz e techno.
Collaborations (Afterhours, 2000) e` quello che dice il titolo, e la collaborazione include Doug Scharin, Curtis Harvey,
Nobukazu Takemura e Jim O'Rourke, ma molti pezzi suonano come musica new age calmante (The Fall Of Andalucia) piuttosto
che abile improvvisazione da camera. Ma il pezzo centrale Mystery Brethren Vironment il post-rock dei novanta pi il
kraut-rock dei settanta.