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Trey Gunn

The Joy of Molybdenum

Review by G. W. Hill

A side project of King Crimson member Trey Gunn, this disc may well be an early contender for best CD of the year. The disc combines Crimsonesque tones in very listenable grooves that really work well. This instrumental release should please fans of Crimson and fans of instrumental music in general. Gunn is joined on this disc by Bob Muller and Tony Gabelle.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Joy of Molybdenum
Pinging guitar sounds start the cut, and the percussion brings in a world music texture. Crunchy guitar tones impart a strong groove to the piece for a time. It then drops to just percussion before the groove returns, this time with a strong retro texture. As the cut progresses, some of the coolest musical textures you will ever hear emerge. The composition drops back away to percussive dominance again before returning to the previous mode, this time taking on Dimeolaish over-layers.
The Glove
Starting with percussion, weird feedback laden strains begin to emerge as the percussion continues to dominate. Ambient sorts of textures control the next segment of the piece. As the bass comes in, the cut takes on a very strong groove. This one features some killer Crimsonesque guitar sounds. It drops to an atmospheric ambient segment that ends the cut.
Hard Winds Redux
A funky sort of Crimsonesque rhythm moded segment starts this composition. It continues as a backdrop for a tasty guitar solo segment, somewhat in the mode of Satriani. It drops to a sedate textured version of the first movements of the number and starts to build from there. It does another stop-then-build routine and gets nicely crunchy. The cut ends abruptly.
Rune Song: The Origin of Water
Percussion and atmospheric tones begin this cut and begin to build from there. A very fusion oriented mode takes over with some guitar stylings that are just a bit Howeish in their choice of directions. After continuing to grow and alternate between these two styles for a time, the cut then shifts gear drastically, and a nice rhythmic groove takes over. This is the central basis for the next section's musical explorations. Another new segment emerges with nicely energetic jamming in a modern Crimson mode taking the forefront. This is a very strong cut.
Untune the Sky
Starting with tribal percussion sounds and atmospheric strains, as the tribal rhythms die down, about 3 minutes in, it begins to get more spacey and a bit Hawkwindesque. After about another minute and a half, the cut becomes more fusion oriented and a nice jam. This one features some awesome bass work and a killer jam before dropping back into space mode to end the piece.
Sazzle
Acoustic guitar starts this cut, which quickly becomes a high-energy jam with bluesy, fusion oriented and Crimsonesque modes. It drops to a slower segment that seems to pay homage to Hendrix' "Third Stone...". The cut then regresses back down to the beginning segments and starts rebuilding. This rebuilding creates a jam that takes the cut the rest of the way through.
Gate of Dreams
This is a nice, rather bluesy jam that is set in a great groove.
Brief Encounter
Beginning with atmospheric and spacey tones, Eastern sorts of modes nicely punctuated by percussion become the rule as an acoustic guitar sort of mode takes over. After a time, the percussion and guitar seem to struggle for control Then some atmospheric moments settle in as the dominate factor for a short time. Next the jam continues with nice backwards sounding guitar interweaving with an incredible rhythm section to a wonderfully fully and progressive effect.
Tehlikeli Madde
The first segment of this cut is a high-energy prog jam that feels just a bit like Led Zeppelin. As the section continues, the Zeppelinisms become more prominent. The number drops off to low key, atmospheric tones and acoustic guitar picking. It begins to build back up from there, eventually regaining the mode of the early portions of the track.
 
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