On November 29, 2013, the trio of Charles Rice Goff III, Michael LaGrega, and Allan McGinty converged on LaGrega’s studio in Leawood, Kansas for what would become the 4 track, 74 minute Basement Of Extra Power. Goff is a veteran of the home recording underground, having been creating music, songs and experimentations for over 30 years, and also produces the Lo Finest radio show, celebrating the homemade music cassette culture of the 1980s-90s, hosted here at Aural Innovations. I’ve been immersed in Goff’s music for years, and am acquainted with LaGrega’s work through his collaborations with Goff, and both LaGrega and McGinty through their participation, with Goff, in the River Cow Orchestra. Basement Of Extra Power is quite an avant-space trip with LOTS happening simultaneously throughout. It’s difficult to describe, which makes it all the more fun to try, so check out these descriptions of my experience of the album:
As Unregulated Ventilation begins, the bass lays down a plodding jazzy groove, while an array of spaced out synths and electro melodies trip along playfully. The bass periodically shifts to a sort of manipulated cello mode, and there are Mellotron-like waves that add a space-prog vibe, which sounds really cool along with all the flittering alien electronics. Just past the 10 minute mark the guitar starts to rock out and goes into acid-Fripp mode as the atmosphere intensifies. But things soon settle down and the music transitions to a dark and ominous yet strangely dreamy ambience, while the guitar and bass continue their tension-laden sound and melodic sculpting. Throughout this 20+ minute piece the effects and sound formation come fast and furious; multi-layered and continually evolving, and all together it’s like an avant-garde mish-mash of The Residents and the more freaked out moments from Hawkwind’s Space Ritual performed in a smoky jazz lounge cum chamber music hall.
Liquid Assets is grim and doomy, like the avant-acid-prog soundtrack to a film set on some barren alien planet. At just over 4 minutes this is the shortest track of the set, but it’s got an accompanying video created by Goff. I’ve seen lots of Goff’s videos and he has a creative flair for visuals, in this case making a fun and trippy collage of still shots and video taken in eastern Kansas and western Missouri.
Strobe-O-Scoptic Tic Tic lays down a steady hip shakin’ jazzy alien chill-out groove, accompanied by pleasantly ambient synth waves and other electronic fun. We’ve got quite an interesting blend of influences here, including 60s Exotica, floating space-ambient drift, Shaft-in-space funk, and Fripp-on-acid guitar.
If you’ve listened to the first three tracks and still enjoying yourself, then hold on to your hats for the 36 minute Black Friday. It kicks off with deep space soundscapes, against which the bass and guitar noodle about, quickly starting to gel as the bass takes on a throbbing ambient rhythmic quality, and the guitar is variously focused on effects and freakouts. This piece is about atmosphere and a lysergic sense of thematic development, though wrapped within we’ve got freeform jamming bits, a parade of UFO effects, oddball rhythms, and soundscapes galore.
In summary, this is a challenging yet good fun and highly rewarding set for those who can set aside time for an attentive headphones listen. Analogies are tough, but this will appeal to space rock fans who also have a fondness for The Residents.
Basement Of Extra Power, including the Liquid Assets video, can be downloaded for free at: https://archive.org/details/BasementOfExtraPower
If you are interested in a CD, email Charles at: email@example.com
For a mind boggling array of information and catalog of releases dating back over 30 years, visit the Taped Rugs Productions web site at: http://www.tapedrugs.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz