Christopher Penrose American Jingo

Not a simple creation by any stretch, and certainly not your conventional CD release. Listening to the 43 minutes of American Jingo is akin to watching a movie - a very strange one - being projected from Penrose's mind. I was intrigued by the CD case, which shows different variations on the American flag, each one with different images where the stars should be. (My favourite is the one full of logos; everything from NBC to the almighty golden arches.) As far as the music goes, there are only two "movements" on the disc, both telling a bit of a story. The first one opens up with a deadpan voice telling us "this is what you think," followed soon after by a few minutes of clangy, tinny sounds, reminiscent of Einstürzende Neubauten. For the next 30 minutes or so, we hear everything from vocal samples to every kind of sound you can think of. The second movement is a little more chaotic, and in the middle of this comes another deadpan voice doing a little self-affirmation, "I am beautiful, I am confident." Another couple voices later come on to have some sort of paranoid discussion about alien invasion - nothing like a little conspiracy theory to make anyone twitchy. Then things come to a very noisy finish after a robotic voice goes through a list of "commandments," if you will, telling us how to live a fulfilling and orderly life, with the best being "live a hard-working life. When you get older, you can look back and enjoy everything for the first time." Words to live by. Have fun with this one. (Illegal Art)