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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

WD-41

WD-41

Review by Gary Hill

WD-41 is collaboration between Willie Oteri and Dave Laczko. The music here is all improvised and recorded as it is being created. It’s definitely full of strange textures and musical concepts, but it’s also for the most part quite good. This is all instrumental and does suffer a bit from being too monolithic, but that’s one of the issues with instrumental albums in general. Also, I have to say that the recording quality at times is a bit lacking. Now, mind you, I was sent a CDR and for those who don’t know, CDR’s don’t play consistently on all CD players – so that could be the issue. If you got an actual copy it might be different. In any event, fans of ambient instrumental prog should eat this up.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

WD-41 is collaboration between Willie Oteri and Dave Laczko. The music here is all improvised and recorded as it is being created. It’s definitely full of strange textures and musical concepts, but it’s also for the most part quite good. This is all instrumental and does suffer a bit from being too monolithic, but that’s one of the issues with instrumental albums in general. Also, I have to say that the recording quality at times is a bit lacking. Now, mind you, I was send a CDR and for those who don’t know, CDR’s don’t play consistently on all CD players – so that could be the issue. If you got an actual copy it might be different. In any event, fans of ambient instrumental prog should eat this up.
Track by Track Review
J-2
Coming in a bit ambient and trippy, imagine early psychedelic Pink Floyd with some horns. You are probably close ot the sounds of this. It is understated and freeform in a lot of ways. It's very space oriented. It is sparse and strange, but also compelling.
H-1

Ambient weirdness with jazz overtones lead off here and it begins to become very RIO and King Crimson-like as it moves forward. The trumpet brings a lot of pure jazz to the table and in many ways I’m reminded of Bruford Levin Upper Extremities.

H-2 Interlude

This short cut feels like a continuation of the last one.

H-3

Noisy and yet ambient, this is definite weirdness. Jazz meets noise and psychedelia on this freaky experimental excursion. I hear Miles Davis, King Crimson and Djam Karet all rolled up into this mass of sound. It gets more melodic at different times and I can make out some Red era Crimson at points here. It gets quite intense and rather movie soundtrack like at the same time. There are bits of Eastern sounds, drama and power all wandering around an alien landscape. This is strange, but pretty incredible. The ending is abrupt.

G-9

Feeling a lot like King Crimson meets Miles Davis, this is more accessible than a lot of the other stuff here. It’s also very cool and tasty. There’s even a little bit of funk and blues on this jam. At almost eleven and a half minutes in length, this is the second longest cut on show. That said, I’d have to say that the main riff here falls a bit short in terms of ability to carry the number that long and it gets a bit old after a while. Still, this is one of the best cuts here.

C-1

The other track that is about eleven and a half minutes in length (it’s actually just two seconds longer than the previous one), this comes in rather ambient and textural with the same elements we’ve heard throughout mixing in a new format. It gets rather exploratory and quite cool with a space rock meets jazz and jam band kind of element. They take it into some seriously Crimsonesque territory for a while and then blend in some early Hawkwind. I’d have to peg this as my favorite cut on show here. I’d also add that it doesn’t suffer from the monotony that got to the last composition at times.

J-1

Noisy and yet ambient, this is weird and cool. Djam Karet and King Crimson mingle with Miles Davis on this. It becomes more accessible and melodic as they carry forward and this is another highlight of the set.


I-13
In some ways this doesn’t vary a lot from some of the earlier stuff, yet I can hear some different things here. Amazingly, some of the guitar soloing on this reminds me of Prince – and that’s a compliment. This is an intriguing track that’s one of the more mainstream, but far from mainstream per se.
 
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