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Critters Buggin - Bumpa (1998)



Critters Buggin' to jazzowa, instrumentalna formacja z Seattle, grająca arcyciekawą muzykę w stylu fusion. Występuje w niej m.in. perkusista Matt Chamberlain (znany ze współpracy z Eddie Brickell czy Tori Amos) i saksofonista Skerik (Tuatara). Moim zdaniem jedna z ciekawszych wspólcześnie grających jazz.

Critters Buggin is a Seattle, Washington-based instrumental group which performs in a jazz, rock and african-influenced, eclectic style. The band is composed of Matt Chamberlain (drums, percussion, piano, programming, synths, loops, samples and digital editing), Skerik (saxophones, keyboards, loops, samples, effects and guitar), Brad Houser (bass, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet and electronics) and Mike Dillon (vibraphone and percussion).

The group began with Matt Chamberlain and Skerik who were later joined by Brad Houser, thus forming a trio in early 1993. John Bush joined soon afterward, and the group gave their first live performance using the "Critters Buggin" name in May 1993 at the Seattle club The Colourbox. Chamberlain, Houser and Bush were all from the then-disbanded Edie Brickell & New Bohemians. Skerik came from another Seattle group, Sadhappy. Their live success was followed by the release of their first album which was produced by Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam on his then new label Loosegroove. The original Critters Buggin trio continued with several guest musicians, including Mike Dillon. Chamberlain and Dillon had both played in the locally popular Dallas, Texas band Ten Hands in the 1980s. All except Skerik were part of the Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas scene through the early 1990s. By 1998 Dillon had joined Critters Buggin as a fourth member, thus forming the current line-up as of a July 2008 tour.

In 2007 Critters Buggin released the DVD, Get the Clackervalve and the Old Clobberd Biscuits Out and Smack the Grand Ham Clapper's Mother. It is a live set filmed and recorded during the Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 1999 performed in The Palace of Culture and Science of Warsaw, Poland

In 2006 Skerik, Dillon and Houser began touring as Critters Buggin Trio. In the 2007 the trio toured as The Dead Kenny G's and were reviewed as uniquely "combining jazz, rock, punk, funk and world music." In October 2009 they released a debut CD Bewildered Herd.

Critters Buggin defies categorization because of their diverse musical styles. Reviews tend to describe their music as a combination of electronic, ambient, jazz and "groove." When asked to describe their music in 1994 Chamberlain stated that it is "jazzy, funky, rocky.... it has African rhythms, too." Houser stated it is "African, industrial, tribal music."

While also reviewed in terms such as unique and adventurous, a recent 2008 review in The Seattle Times described them with such diverse terms as unorthodox, unhinged, tribal, unpredictable, mesmerizing, loud, abrasive, dissonant and ultimately satisfying. (wikipedia)



To be "buggin' out" is to be visibly obsessing and prone to exaggerated emotional displays. That is, when someone is "buggin' out," it is as if their eyes are about to "bug out" of their heads. Critters Buggin' freely "bug out" over a simple idea on this album of heavy rock-based electronica. The lineup of Critters is an impressive roster of traveled and experienced musicians that have, at various times, been part of Pearl Jam, John Doe's band, Spin Doctors, Edie Brickell's New Bohemians, Wayne Horvitz' group, and beyond. The opening cut is a tough, "funkoid" bassline that careens wildly (as an out of control truck) around a tirade against the evils of water fluoridation. The fluoride concerned monologist could be the young voice of Negatviland's David Wills. The piece dissipated like evaporating tap water into a free jazz horn solo. That free jazz melody takes on teeth as more funk tonnage drops in with long-noted, descending keyboard lines and brooding cellos in "Brozo the Clown." The most interesting rhythms are a jerky floor tom and tom-tom upholding what sounds to be a cocky baritone sax in call and answer with a maudlin tenor saxophone. This mind-bending trio takes a dada (Zappa, Beefheart, etc.) approach to integrating horns and a funk-rock rhythm section a la Soul Coughing. (Tom Schulte)

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