Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: Minibus Pimps - Cloud to Ground

John Paul Jones avant-garde side project, Minibus Pimps, have released their first album, Cloud to Ground, on SusannaSonata records. The album is an ambient noise-scape, lacking any element of what the average person would familiarly describe as music: there is no recognizable melody, rhythm or harmonic structure. That's a warning to someone who may buy this based in John Paul Jones name, unfamiliar with what you are buying. You are warned, this is not be your go to album for the next six-months, with an addictive song or two you can't get out of your head. 

What it is is four songs, twenty-six minutes of bass, guitar and keyboards, run through a computer system to the point of unrecognizability. The soundscape is akin to spaceships, angry chickens and out of control organ grinders, designed to create tension, without ever resolving itself. The pieces are not meant to be studied, but to lose yourself in, to create a physical reaction rather than emotional. In contrast, Jimmy Page's Lucifer Rising uses a drone effect to (or for that matter, Kashmir) create a trance like condition in the listener, Cloud to Ground seems more intent on creating stress within' the listener.

All that said, I threw the earbuds on in work, which is a manufacturing environment, and let the sound wave over me. What happened surprised me, as I found myself enjoying each piece,  finding the soundscape complimentary to the environment.  Put another way, I think i enjoyed it.

Overall, Minibus Pimps are always going to be an extremely acquired taste, and if you have acquired that taste, Cloud to Ground won't disappoint.


Note: Those wishing to check out the latest Jonesy work, but unsure , the entire album is available from Amazon for $3.99.

Note 2: For a review from somebody more familiar with the style of music, try this one from Benjamin Bland at Ech(((o)))es and Dust.

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