***"Recordings made on a portable DAT recorder in the Autumn of 1996. These tapes are from a period where the trio of V, SKB!, and C were renting a space in Barco Rebar, a practice facility in Farifax, VA. Housed in an industrial park in the shadow of giagntic satellite receivers, the space was equipped with the kind of amplifiers favored by metal groups and other grunge rockerz who practiced there—suffice to say that the availability of Ampeg SVTs and Mesa 4x12s inspired the group to throw out the saxes and moogs for a while and TURN IT UP. The music here is delivered mostly in full-on rock/smash mode, played with a bracing enthusiasm that gives an unusual "free-rock" vibe rather than the kind of hard-assed crud you might expect. The fully worked-out structures of "Black Crowes" and "Love Rock" give sharp relief to the long improvised sections in the middles, where the outré ambient drones kick back in before heading back to the heavy action. In a couple of spots, you can hear the vintage Emulator keyboard on loan from Dr. Malcolm Riviera crackling through the (un-mic'd) PA, its grainy 8-bit string and explosion samples blurred to the abstract by the whorl of sound.
Shortly after these tapes were made, I listened to them all while riding an exercise bike in my office. The band forgot about them, having moved on to studio based "cosmic" experimentation with water bottles and ethnic percussion. Revisiting them years later, I missed the sound that the bike added to the mix, but even absent the constantly changing rattle-loop, I thought they were still worth hearing, so I've made this personal selection. Almost as good as "Space Truckin'!" - BK. Three tracks, sixty-four minutes. Packaged in a gatefold wallet.
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