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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jono El Grande Phantom Stimulance

Phantom Stimulance

Jono El Grande
Rune Grammofon

When an already lengthy album credit includes bubbles, balloon, duck call, and, ahem, ‘spastic percussion’, amidst more conventional instrumentation, then you know you’re in for something slightly out of the ordinary. Norway’s Jono El Grande certainly fits that bill.

Celebrating ten years as a band leader there’s definitely a party atmosphere going on in these new recordings which revisit some of his older repertoire. As boisterously playful ensemble compositions clatter and bang their way about the place, there’s some delightfully cheeky smash and grab raids on the likes of Zappa’s Peaches En Regalia.

So far so madcap and anarchic. Yet, as Jono’s ferociously splenetic guitar solo in the title track makes abundantly clear, for all the off-kilter dada-synths and wobbly musical saws that provide a garrulous, spooky backdrop, there’s some seriously daunting muscle at work.

The tumultuous and torrid pace at which most of this music is delivered can be wearing but pit stops are provided in strategically positioned psych-tinged work outs. Long term fans will relish the appearance of a couple of brand new tracks, whilst those unfamiliar with the output of this avant-garde outfit should strap in for a truly worthwhile and exhilarating ride.

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