You Fantastic
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Homesickness, 6/10
On Fillmore: On Fillmore (2002), 5.5/10
On Fillmore: Sleeps With Fishes (2004), 5/10
Grand Ulena: Gateway To Dignity , 5/10
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When Dazzling Killmen disbanded, bassist Darin Gray joined Jim O'Rourke to cut When In Vanitas (Skin Graft, 1994) under the Brise Glace name, an album which also featured Illusion of Safety's Thymme Jones on drums. The following year Gray and Jones played also on Yona Kit (Skin Graft, 1995), another O'Rourke's project. Then Gray and Jones, with another Dazzling Killmen's outcast, guitarist Tim Garrigan, formed You Fantastic.

The band debuted with the EPs Riddler (Skin Graft, 1996), which contains ten untitled fragments, and Pals (Skin Graft, 1997), which contains one long minimalist trance. The inspiration for these records came from Slint, but with an emphasis on rhythm and loud "noise" which harks back to early Sonic Youth.

The structure of You Fantastic's debut album, Homesickness (Skin Graft, 1999), recorded between 1994 and 1998, recalls the band's first EP: 22 brief instrumental compositions, and a cornucopia of styles ranging from hardcore to free jazz. A few tracks are simply excerpts from live performances (often no more than a one-minute snippet). While the album is reminiscent of the post-modernist collage technique of This Heat, the overall feeling is closer to the disjointed works of Rake and God Is My Co-pilot.
Highlights include Friendless's quarreling of the trumpets on the calm motiv of the guitar, Memphis's tour de force of stone-age noise rock music (with Fred Frith-style's experiments in guitar noises and a long coda of industrial banging and psycho drones) and the two versions of Slowly's industrial mantra of horns and electronics over a syncopated dub rhythm.
The limit of the album is that most of these fragments are just that: rough, unfinished ideas. The absolute chaos of Cicero's, the childish banging of Retraction and so forth, aer personal notes of the musicians, not music for the rest of us.

Allo scioglimento dei Dazzling Killmen, il bassista Darin Gray si uni` brevemente a Jim O'Rourke per registrare When In Vanitas (Skin Graft, 1994) a nome Brise Glace, un album in cui suono` anche il batterista Thymme Jones (dei Cheer-Accident). Gray e Jones suonarono poi anche su Yona Kit (Skin Graft, 1995), sempre con O'Rourke al comando. A quel punto Gray e Jones, insieme a un altro transfugo dei Dazzling Killmen, il chitarrista Tim Garrigan, decisero di formare gli You Fantastic.

Il gruppo esordi` con gli EP Riddler (Skin Graft, 1996), contenente dieci frammenti senza titolo, e Pals (Skin Graft, 1997), contenente invece una sola lunga trance minimalista. L'ispirazione viene dagli Slint, ma con un'enfasi sul ritmo e sul "chiasso" che ricordano i primi Sonic Youth.

La struttura del primo album, Homesickness (Skin Graft, 1999), registrato fra il 1994 e il 1998, si riallaccia al primo EP: 22 brevi composizioni strumentali, e una cornucopia di stili, dall'hardcore al free jazz. Alcune tracce sono semplici estratti di performance dal vivo (spesso di un minuto o meno). L'album e` reminescente della tecnica di collage postmoderna dei This Heat, ma il feeling complessivo e` piu` prossimo ai lavori senza capo ne' coda di works of Rake e God Is My Co-pilot.
Spiccano Friendless, con il suo cicaleccio di trombe su un calmo motivo di chitarra, Memphis, un tour de force di noise-rock dell'eta` della pietra (con esperimenti chitarristici alla Fred Frith e una lunga coda di clangore industriale e droni psicotici) e le due versioni di Slowly, un mantra industriale di fiati ed elettronica su un ritmo dub sincopato.
Il limite del disco e` che gran parte di questi frammenti sono proprio quello: idee rozze e incompiute. Il caos assoluto di Cicero's, il clangore infantile di Retraction e cosi` via sono appunti personali dei musicisti, non musica per il resto dell'umanita`.

After disbanding You Fantastic, Gray formed On Fillmore (Locust, 2002) with percussionist Glenn Kotche. Their experiment was streamlined on Sleeps With Fishes (Quakebasket, 2004): Kotche's switch to the vibraphone lent the sound a typical jazz-rock tone that defuses whatever r/evolutionary idea was originally behind the composition.

Then came Grand Ulena, whose Gateway To Dignity (Family Vineyard, 2003) sounds like adult, rocking, straightforward Dazzling Killmen. The mini-album Neosho (Family Vineyard, 2003) collects leftovers from the same sessions as the album.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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