Bablicon In A Different City

Bablicon, like many Chicago bands, descend from the SST instrumental legacy of bands like Universal Congress Of and Alter Natives. Years of "jazz influences" and "20th century leanings" have no doubt contributed to the feel of In a Different City, but Bablicon go out of their way to sound unpolished, whether it’s the deliberately lazy, sloppy style of drummer Marta Tennae, or the clumsily executed, but charming tape edits. And it doesn’t get less polished than recording in an abandoned machine shop right underneath Chicago's "El" train and then master it as grittily as possible. The instrumentation on most tracks is drums, soprano sax and electric bass, with many interjections of short orchestral passages (also recorded in a self-consciously shitty fashion) and quaint organ-led bits in fancy time signatures with toy drum machines. Moving past the desire to sound as unpretentiously eclectic as possible, Bablicon are a band that can actually rock hard if they want to, such as on "Rhinoceros." Saxophonist the Diminisher, in his best moments, plays like Dave Liebman when he gets going, while bassist/cellist Blue Hawaii contributes some nice passages and there are some very cool vibraphone bits. Too often though, the music seems to be gearing up to the next transition – it would have been nice to hear a little more "blowing" from this band. But, In a Different City isn't a blowing session, it's edited together to a fault. In a Different City has a pleasant kind of harshness and eclecticism, but it could use a little less self-consciousness to push their ideas a little further. (Misra)