Radio I Ching The Fire Keeps Burning

The trio of Radio I Ching are pretty much a cover band, but they utterly transform their source material. This disc features versions of work by Jimmie Driftwood, Roland Kirk, Rasta drummer Count Ossie and film composer Alfred Newman, among others. High concept cover albums are frequently a recipe for disaster but all three members here are on some different shit. In lesser hands, live electronic processing of an acoustic instrument can sound like the audio equivalent of a Windows Media Visualiser: pretty, captivating even, but not musically vital. Andy Haas uses simple effects, starting with dub processing, but is capable of hacking up a signal quite brutally. His sax playing is actually kind of sweet, getting into a messed up but faithful Dixieland groove on "Two Horn Bingo.” Fiorino’s work on guitar, lap steel and banjo is rootsy in all languages, such as on their cover of Egyptian master drummer Hamza El Din’s "Gala 2000.” Pop, drummer for no wave band the Bush Tetras, sounds more integrated and aggressive on this album than on the band’s debut. On the whole, "loungadelic Beefheart” isn’t a bad place to start as a point of reference. This is some alchemical ensemble work, both musically and sonically. (Resonant)