Greg Ashley – Requiem Mass and Other Experiments

January 01, 1970

(Birdman)

www.birdmanrecords.com

 

Greg
Ashley’s day job finds him playing guitar with a group called Gris Gris, but
whatever individual fame he’s acquired up until now probably has more to do
with the title bestowed on his last solo opus, 2007’s Medicine Fuck Dream. Unfortunately, that’s somewhat deceiving. With
the more studiously dubbed Requiem Mass
and Other Experiments
, Ashley shows he’s more academic than insurgent, as
evidenced by nine selections conceived from both classical and avant-garde
motifs. Despite only subtle shifts to distinguish these dirge-like
instrumentals, Ashley studiously melds his ample guitar skills to the
accompaniment afforded by cello, violin and a small brass ensemble, creating an
imaginary experimental soundtrack in the process.

 

Ultimately,
it’s the four-part “Requiem Mass” suite that dominates the proceedings, but
given its somber tones, it’s likely only a one-time listen. “Symmetric
Jugging,” with its ponderous rhythms and fluid, freeform core, is more
intriguing, as is the appropriately oriental/abstract symmetry of “Chinese New
Year.”  Unfortunately, however, as a
whole, Requiem Mass and Other Experiments yields only mixed results. An album that suggests serious intentions, it never
quite attains the artistic transcendence it aspires to.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Symmetric Jugging,” “Chinese
New Year” LEE ZIMMERMAN 

 

 

 

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