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Eclectic Earwig Reviews

Species Being: orgone therapy (CD, 52:58) Chaosophy Records, INNERSPACE 7711
Chaosophy Records
915 Cole St., PMB 307
San Francisco, CA  94117
CYBERHOME: http://www.chaosophyrecords.com

"Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream."  This should be the
disclaimer on the cover of Species Being's latest release, orgone
therapy.  I'll admit when I read in the liner notes the statement "The
music on this CD was entirely improvised and recorded directly to two track
with no overdubs," I was skeptical.  I've never been a huge fan of improvs,
especially from bands I've never heard of before.  However, much to my
surprise these guys not only pull it off, but have released one of the more
interesting collections of music I've heard in quite some time - composed OR
improvised.  These dudes have got the goods, and they use 'em all to take
you on a sonic trip with orgone therapy that will leave you both
relaxed and disturbed at the same time.

Species Being is a improvisational four-piece that combines both trance and
jazz to come up with some incredibly spacey tunes that often set you up with
some tasty "Pink Floydian" space-rock, and then knock you out with some
frenzied free-form electric jazz.  The perfect example of this is the
13-minute third track appropriately entitled "Track 3," which towards the
end lulls you into a false sense of relaxation and then PLOWS right over you
with a crazed free-form jazz jam that will make your hair stand on end.
"Track 4" is an adventurous improv that combines some evil sounding guitar
grinds with spaced-out keyboards to create a truly disturbing work of art.
The only track that falls a little bit short is the 17 minute "Track 5,"
which doesn't get really interesting until the last third of the song - this
is by no means a BAD track, it's just not up to par with the others on
orgone therapy.

The musicianship on orgone therapy is excellent - the boys in the
band may not be technical virtuosos, but they certainly can be considered
"emotional" virtuosos.  The bass lines laid out by Kenseth Thibideau (my
spell checker just blew up) are very trance-like, and the keyboards of Jai
Young Kim are exactly on target in regards to subtlety and tasteful choice
of sound samples.  While you won't get a Zappa-esque solo out of guitarist
Eli Good, you will get some incredibly tasty "noise riffs" - as a matter of
fact, I've never really heard anything like it.  Good will begin a sound at
just the right moment - be it a sustained chord, scraping of his strings,
feedback - and just let it ride, as if his guitar was surfing the waves
created by his bandmates.  And let me tell you about the drumming - Frank
Grau is absolutely incredible in the driver's seat throughout the entire CD.
He doesn't force himself upon the music, but instead occupies the pockets of
empty space left in the improvs with incredibly choice fills that will
remind you of Bill Bruford in his King Crimson days.  Grau really blew me
away with his drumming, and I really hope to hear more from him in the

As a matter of fact, I really hope to hear more from Species Being in the
future. If this is what orgone therapy is capable of just improvising
into a two-track recorder, then I shudder to think what they could do with
some time to craft proper compositions - at least I'd like to hear them try.
This is the best prog improving I've heard, and that includes Fripp's
much-overrated "ProjeKcts".  Just don't forget: before listening to the
spaced-out sound waves of orgone therapy - "Lay down all thoughts,
surrender to the void."

- Michael Askounes (michael@gscyclone.com)

Eli Good: Guitar
Frank Grau: Drums
Jai Young Kim: Keyboards
Kenseth Thibideau: Bass

1. Track 1 (7:10)
2. Track 2 (5:43)
3. Track 3 (13:09)
4. Track 4 (9:33)
5. Track 5 (17:21)

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