Paranoise - Private Power

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Ancient Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:33:00

Thanks to people like Peter Gabriel and his Real World organisation a lot of music lovers all over the world have discovered world music. Youssu N'Dour no longer is a stranger and world music rears its "ugly" head wherever you look. However no other band has delivered the same kind of result as the very special Paranoise. Whilst the obvious rock instruments try their best to keep the prog and metal flag flying, the brain, Jim Matus (once a pupil of Pat Metheny and John Scofield), tries to maintain the tension by adding dulcimer, digeridoo and violin. Even if that violin gets rather close to "vintage" Kansas, a song like "Instability, Containment, Rollback" tends more towards King Crimson taken in tow with Primus!

Violin player Rohan Gregory certainly is an ace musician having performed with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Ethnic singing crosses the addictive "Tetrahedral Metaphor" back to back with that violin. Remarkable how current rhythmic prog blends with influences from centuries gone by! In "Constant Fear" the voice of Thorne Palmer reminds me of a cross between Sebastian Hardie's Mario Millo and Kansas' Steve Walsh. By using samples of gutturals from the Huun-Huur-Tu of course "Structural Adjustment" becomes a very original concept. Add to this the addictive "groove" and you realize that this Paranoise takes the stereotype "prog" image way beyond the marked out territory. When the omnipresent violin takes to playing authentic "jigs" things really start to cook.

Matus uses samples from the Master Musicians of Jajouka (remember the dead Rolling Stone Brian Jones), Musicians of the Nile and also the influence from Nusrat Fetah Ali Khan is never far away. "Tarana" leads us to the holy cows in India whilst "Centerless Grinding" puts the album in fifth gear. "Monuments" probably is the most avant-garde piece on this album where the band puts every single influence in one big jar and stirs it around and around. Ideal back groundmusic for the next Unicef commercial!

This is not the first release by Paranoise, having already released Constant Fear on Island records in '88 and Start A New Race on Ozone records in '93. On both albums "our" boys were helped out by people such as Don Cherry, Anthony Jackson and Percy Jones. Without any doubt the most original album of the year and probably the only one we can truly call "progressive" all the way!

Evil Vs. Evil (3:14) / Instability, Containment, Rollback (4:58) / Tetrahedral Metaphor (6:40) / Mechanical World (4:56) / International Monetary Fun (4:57) / Constant Fear (4:44) / Structural Adjustment (8:40) / Private Power (6:08) / Tarana (4:49) / Not There (5:07) / Centerless Grinding (2:40) / Monuments (5:20)

Jim Matus - electric and acoustic guitars, dulcimer, Laouto, harmonium, sampling, backings
Thorne Palmer - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, lyrics
Geoffrey Brown - drums, percussion
Bob Laramie - five-string bass
Rohan Gregory - violin

Constant Fear (1988)
Start A New Race (1993)
Private Power (1999)
Ishq (2001)
Mawwal (Acoustic Paranoise) - Live At Artspace (2002)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 986
Language: english


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