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Jack or Jive's most recent offering titled “Absurdity” sees Jack or Jive coming forward into the musical arena with thoughts, feelings, and music inspired by world events that transpired in 2003 and 2004 prior to the recording of the album. The title of the album “Absurdity” reflects the feelings of the artists towards such recent events as the American invasion and the current occupation of Iraq by American and Coalition forces.
The second CD handles the lighter songs of Jack Or Jive, hence the title. These songs drift between the Neoclassical and Darkwave genre's. Be carried away with Makoto's voice and Chako's musical arrangements. Though I need to say Chako doesn't really arrange the music. When he creates songs, he just starts playing instruments, so the music is a bit improvisational. This way of producing causes the music to reflect what Chako feels inside while creating a song, hence the wide diversity of songs on this release
'Principle Of Positive And Negative' is more quiet en reflective, as if the war that raged in the previous tracks has ended and the listener is taken over the land and sees mangled bodies everywhere. The war might have been won, but at what cost? A highly contemplative and spheric song. The song 'Kakugo' is a bit more upbeat again, and just as War Scapes II it mixes Chako's voice and Jack Or Jive's familiar sound with a little martial industrial feeling and sound. Nothing big or bombastic, but delicate and hypnotising.
The work's foundation is a single-note bass ostinato that serves as a rhythmic pulse throughout the first thirteen minutes. The loop grows organically and serves as an axis to be ornamented with varying degrees of knob manipulation. Even as the initial figure dissipates, there is still that sense of pulse amongst the ensuing noise-fest. Things really get cooking around the eighteen-minute mark when it starts to sound like your speakers are being gnawed apart by some rabid vermin that's having an adverse gastric reaction to some fried circuitry.
Lyrically the theme is of watching the day pass away, with thoughts of a King never to return again, as he wanders the earth looking for his lost Queen. Classical mythical symbols of fallen stags and toasts to the departed add a vibrant authenticity so missing from modern traditional music, and the ending musical strains also mirror traditions of descriptive free-flowing folk pieces such as http://www.irishtune.info/tune/664/ 'The Fox Chase' and 'The Wild Geese', cementing Mr. Reid's place in a long long line of genuine troubadours stretching from the past to the future.
On occasion sounds bubble to the surface: a choir-like passage, high-speed tape manipulation, percussive loops, and even melodic fragments. On the one hand such microsonics bring to mind the 'lowercase' school that has emerged out of Tokyo's 'onkyo' scene,
but certain elements also remind me of the early works of Maurizio Bianchi, The Hafler Trio and the dynamic discipline of late Morton Feldman.