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New York guitarist Jake Bell used to play with Simeon of the Silver Apples
in a legendary band called Random Concept, between 1966 and 1972.
He then disappeared for a quarter of a century. In 1997 he met again the
resurrected Simeon, and was convinced to put out his first album.
Synjase (Whirlybird, 1998) displays his synth-guitar via a
kaleidoscopic set of instrumentals, accompanied by electronic beats and
The poppy 23-Zynvox-2
is a light and suave vignette of life on another planet,
halfway between Tonto's Expanding Head Band and
Brian Eno's Before And After Science.
The harder beat of Dino-Whaa and Guitar-O-Drum
is even more captivating, as it bridges the gap between art-rock and hard-rock.
The noisy Wavething is an impressionistic picture, while
the droning Windglass is almost ambient.
Best of all is Song For The Return Of My Future Self, a
cosmic, new age melody that slowly unfolds in a haunted atmosphere.
Bell is not a virtuoso, but a stoic storyteller of immense humanity.