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Asha Vida: Nature's Clumsy Hand , 6.5/10
3 Field Rotation , 6/10
Very Well Organized , 6.5/10
Venoy , 5/10 (EP)
Accretion , 6/10 (mini)
Inflight Audio , 5/10 (mini)
Fuxa 2000 , 5/10
Supercharged , 5/10

Formed in 1993, Detroit's space-rockers Asha Vida (vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist Craig Badynee, guitarist and keyboardist Eric Pieti, drummer Jesse Rafferty and, later, bassis Ryan Anderson) debuted with the orthodox psychedelia of the EP Eskimo Summer but soon moved on to the more experimental EP As One of One (Icon, 1997), blessed by the prog-rock acrobatics of Lacedaemon. The wild, cacophonous, improvised jams of the album Nature's Clumsy Hand (Burnt Hair, 1998) obscure the wild, hypnotic Il Buon Tempo Verra and the ethereal Poena Sensus. Per Aspera Ad Astra (10:19), Sic Itur Ad Astra (17:47), with piano, flutes and strings, and especially Diem Pardidi (18:26), the crowning achievement of the band, are tours de force at the border between acid-rock, free-jazz, kosmische musik and musique concrete.

Fuxa (pronounced "fuchsia") is a project launched in 1995 by bassist Ryan Anderson and guitarist Randall Neiman (ex-Windy & Carl), that harks back to German avant-rock of the 1970s (everybody from Amon Duul to Kraftwerk to Neu) and to the shoegazing school of Spacemen 3. The project debuted with the six-song EP Free Your Soul (Burnt Hair, 1995) and a couple of split singles, all of which were compiled on the album 3 Field Rotation (Che, 1995). Fuxa's rock rarely rocks. The duo opts for an instrumental, mostly droning, shoegazing, trancey, quasi-ambient sound drenched in the bleeps and glitches of vintage analog keyboards and treated guitars, and recorded on home tapes. Subway Short/ Free Soul is two minutes of musique concrete. The industrial vignette Tokearian Parade makes music out of metronomic beats and the percussive progression of 100 White Envelopes comes straight out of Neu's first album. These experiments are puerile attempts at absorbing the legacy of the rock avantgarde and amount to very little compared with the originals. Photon, instead, is a melodic piece, a humble lullaby tinkled by the guitars while rockets take off in all directions. Dreamlanding takes off from a similar melodic idea, born out of the guitar interplay, and dispenses almost completely with the noise. Those were the formative years for Fuxa.

The duo's ambitions is unrestrained on Very Well Organized (Mind Expansion, 1996), virtually a set of free-form minimal concerts (Unified Frequency, Pleasant Orbitings).

The two-song twenty-minute mini-album Venoy (Darla, 1997) is devoted to early industrial music, although it gets stretched out to yield celestial bliss.

Other compositions appeared on singles, such as Clearless (Astro Lanes, 1996) and City And Metro (Darla, 1997).

Accretion (Mind Expansion, 1998), a 36-minute album that introduces drummer Eric Morrison, has its charm, particularly with the marching alien troops of Some Soviet Station and Tonality, or the more cosmic City, but the highlights are the two sides of the 1997 single, poppy Standing Under U with a strumming rhythm a` la Feelies, and Second Adbuctions.

Another short release, the 32-minute Inflight Audio (Mind Expansion, 1999), greeted the defection of Anderson. Randall's cosmic ambitions are now unrestrained, but a post-rock sensibility fumigates the ecstasy on Limited Sight Distance and Greenfield.

Fuxa 2000 (Mind Expansion, 2000), a solo Randall Nieman album with help from distinguished friends, has few moments of genius (Rainy Day Dream Away, Amber Gambler).

The single Techno Light (Rocket Girl, 2000) is a pastoral sonata for guitar and Moog.

Fuxa contributes I Can Hear The Old Sister Say to the split mini-album Fuxa vs Ectogram (Ochre, 2001), one of their most poetic compositions ever.

Supercharged (Rocketgirl, 2002) is not particularly original but it dispenses with the noisy excesses of their art.

The Modified Mechanics Of This Device (Antenna, 2002) collects remixes and rarities.

Unexplained Transmissions (Ochre, 2000) is a Randall Neiman side-project that sounds like koscmische musik at its most abstract and impressionistic.

Fuxa Commits Suicide (Mind Expansion, 2008) covers Suicide's Cheree.

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