Moraine -
Metamorphic Rock, Live at Nearfest

(CD 2011; 69:16; MoonJune Records MJR040)

The tracks:
  1- Irreducible Complexity(3:39)
  2- Manifest Density(3:45)
  3- Save The Yuppie Breeding Grounds(4:07)
  4- Disillusioned Avatar/Dub Interlude/Ephebus Amoebus(10:25)
  5- Disoriental Suite(11:46)
         - a) Bagua
         - b) Kan Hai De Re Zi
         - c) Views From Chicheng Precipice
  6- Kuru(4:31)
  7- The Okanogan Lobe(7:36)
  8- Uncle Tang's Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari(3:44)
  9- Blues For A Bruised Planet(4:35)
10- Waylaid(5:31)
11- Middlebräu(9:09)

Moraine Website        Moonjune Records

I'm not familiar with the debut album Manifest Density from the Seattle based instrumental rock and jazz band Moraine but I understand it was mainly chamber rock. Metamorphic Rock, however, is something quite different as the band shifted gears after taking in a couple of new band members and turning up the volume and tempo quite a bit. The band info talks about similarities with King Crimson, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Curved Air and Terje Rypdal, but I hear something different: UK. This must be because of the quite dominating role of excellent violist Alicia DeJoie and the interspersing guitar of Dennis Rea. Manifest Density, the title track of the first album, has been reworked for this 2010 live concert to sound like a mix of UK and Soft Machine. Save The Yuppie Breeding Grounds (excellent title, by the way) is clearly UK with an added baritone sax (aptly played by James DeJoie). In the other songs we hear quite a lot of styles coming by, like some reggae in Disillusioned Avatar/Dub Interlude/Ephebus Amoebus (yes, in the second part) with King Crimson in the last part, Eastern folky in Disoriental Suite, blues in Blues For A Bruised Planet, and funk in Middlebräu and all the while the role of the baritone sax becomes bigger, which makes for a distinctive but sometimes tiring sound. Many songs are new and there are several reinterpretations of songs from the debut album, making this a very pleasant if somewhat challenging listening, but well worth the effort.

***André de Waal (edited by Robert James Pashman)

Where to buy?

All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013