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Guill and Jem

Two Signals

Review by Gary Hill

Putting together an album of purely instrumental music and having it work start to finish isn’t easy. Guill and Jem have accomplished it. This moves between space rock, fusion and other elements and manages to keep each track fresh and new, while still having a consistent texture throughout. It should be mentioned that “Guill” is Guillermo Cazenave and “Jem” is Jeremy Morris. The two have concocted a killer disc of rather psychedelic progressive rock instrumentals.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Cosmic Jam 1

This comes in like a more electronic Hawkwind. It’s noisy and very cool. It really feels like something Hawkwind would have done, without question, but perhaps a bit more psychedelic.

Trash Zen Dental Meditation
More jazz-like and purely electronic, the hard edged and space elements are pretty much gone here. This is a cool tune, though, that’s very much a creative and explorative number. It’s tasty.
Two Signals
A guitar solo showcase, the rubbery rhythm section calls to mind King Crimson a bit. In fact, in some ways it wouldn’t be a big stretch of the imagination to think of this coming from that outfit. Of course, this treatment is a bit more psychedelic than we might get from Fripp and company. There are some weird elements overlaid at points. Some of the guitar soloing on this, though, is very much like Fripp.
Chicago Strut
Guitar soloing is all over this one. It’s truly much more like fusion than anything else we’ve heard to this point. It’s a smoking hot instrumental that’s very cool and among my favorites on the set. The guitar lines on this have a lot of familiar elements to theme. The musical themes seems like something I’ve heard before.
Cat-Grec Rally
Funky and bluesy, this is a real killer track. It’s a real screamer and among the best on show here. There are some parts of the guitar soloing here that feel familiar, too. This becomes a lot more pure psychedelic jamming later.
Cosmic Jam 2
This has a lot of that Hawkwind element to it, but a lot of real blues built in, too. It’s got some killer guitar soloing and really rocks a lot. There are some definite Hawkwind-like bits, particularly the little shuffling section later, but there’s a lot more going on, too.
 
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