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Eclectic Vibes - May 2012

CD/DVD Micro Reviews by Andrew Frey


Shpongle is a trance/electronic music act made up of Simon Posford & Raja Ram. Their enticing electronic beats are woven with world music flavors and multidimensional intelligence. On Thursday, May 10, Shpongle returns to Madtown with their newest production, titled ‘The Masquerade’. Last time around they brought the Shpongletron experience which became my top live show of 2011. This time around, they are bringing another mind-blowing multimedia stage performance, highlighted by cutting edge video projection technology and other surprises. As a bonus, Bandcamp favorite and glitch-hop innovator Phutureprimitive opens, so make sure to get there early. I can’t wait! In case you become addicted after exposure, follow them to House of Blues in Chicago on May 12.

The following night, on Friday, May 11 the mighty Minneapolis bliss-junkie carnival and festival organizer known as Wookiefoot bring their amazing entourage to Madison with sensational openers Ifdakar (Ifdakamp is coming up in June!) and contemporary reggae warriors T.U.G.G. Wookiefoot, known for their world charity donations as well as their high-minded lyrical content, is reportedly going to have a new album out this summer, so one should expect to hear a few teasers at the show mixed into their usual outstanding set of visual delights, anthems and consciousness raising creations .,,

This year’s Bella Music Festival over Memorial Day (May 25-27) at Harmony Park in Minnesota is called Bella Fiore. While this is another local band extravaganza, the headliners this year are Primus, Big Gigantic, Robbie Kreiger and the Road House Rebels, EOTO, the Weir, Robinson & Green Acoustic Trio, and Shpongle. Anticipation is high for this outstanding line up and the performances promise to be hot. Don’t miss another amazing event.

MICRO REVIEWS: This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 is Hemorrhaging thru 10 is Concussive
Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar - Golden Horns

Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar

Golden Horns
Record Label: Piranha Musik
Review published: May 2012
Rating: 9

In a flutter and flurry of horns, this Balkan brass band takes the centuries-old sounds from generations of Romani musicians and infuses it with contemporary flair and a danceable direction. This release serves as a career encapsulating ‘best of’ from Boban Markovic with his son, prized protégé Marko, and shows off their Southern Serbian Roma roots which are then spiced up and blended with jazz, soul and disco to produce a sensational sampling of their craft.

Freak Kitchen - Land of the Freaks

Freak Kitchen

Land of the Freaks
Record Label: The Laser's Edge
Review published: May 2012
Rating: 9

Touted as ‘Europe’s best musical secret’ due to limited distribution, Freak Kitchen has just had their back-catalog released and this one from 2009 is the first in line. The progressive power trio consists of three renowned virtuoso musicians - Mattias “IA” Eklundh (guitar/vocals), Christer Ortefors (bass), and Bjorn Fryklund (drums). When these hard-working musicians are not performing in a band, they are out teaching clinics. The music contains creative progressive rock elements with a healthy dose of Frank Zappa influenced humor plus musical shenanigans and acrobatics galore.

Kottarashky and the Rain Dogs - Demoni

Kottarashky and the Rain Dogs

Record Label: Asphalt Tango
Review published: May 2012
Rating: 8

Intent on creating a sonic collage and not some dance floor revolution, this minimalist ethno-electronica from Bulgaria is centered around Nikola Gruev aka Kottarashky who has joined forces on this release with a live crew of old friends and noted Sofia musicians, The Rain Dogs. The eclectic tracks found here are built from folksy samples spun out of traditional Bulgarian singing and are occasionally mixed with overblown flute and whirling clarinet.

Mucca Pazza - Safety Fifth

Mucca Pazza

Safety Fifth
Record Label: Electric Cowbell Records
Review published: May 2012
Rating: 9

A 2-dozen member Chicago marching band that refuses to behave like one. Amalgamating elements from a variety of genres, attitudes and cadences, this band of musical geeks revel in territories of eccentricity beyond simple classification. Experience their full tilt performances at a variety of Chicagoland summer events.

Prong - Carved Into Stone


Carved Into Stone
Record Label: Long Branch Records
Review published: May 2012
Rating: 9

When bands create seminal music in a given genre, what do they do in the years and releases that follow? Prong guitarist Tommy Victor took time off to play with Danzig and Ministry before revisiting his roots and getting revitalized enough to assemble and pen a contemporary sonic barrage under his old moniker that is ready to flood your senses with signature riffs and aggressive themes. The Prong sound is back and ready to exceed the neck- and finger-snapping experiences of the past.

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