It’s been a few years but we’ve got two new full length albums from Avant-Jazz inspired Psychedelia-in-Space combo Squeegeed Clean, led by the Down Under duo of Funkmeister G and D.J. Urinal Cake. These guys go way back to the early Aural Innovations days with submissions from their band Vocabularinist and its many offshoots so it’s always fun getting new music from them.
The track titles on Sudden Illumination or a Kick in the Third Eye are a hoot. Cancer Is About The Closest Thing We Have To A Pop Song features wild and wooly Out-Jazz like Coltrane with weirdly whacked piano and wound up spacey effects. Thinking About The Non-Existent Vibrations From A Chinese E-bow That Doesn’t Exist is like an extended avant-garde symphony warm-up, being a lightly cacophonous and noisily ambient combination of Free-Jazz horns, Sun Ra synth runs, percussion, windswept effects and spoken word narrative, creating a chaotic mantra for disturbed meditation. Like Someone On The Hunt In A Village Spying Around Corners Until They Get To The Creperie is a howl at the moon glom of Out-Jazz horns, periodic rocking percussion, and oddly melodic orchestral noise synths and horns.
Symmetrical Dribbles is a brief bit of tripped out Psychedelic backwards fun and effect that sets the stage for the 34 minute journey that is An Expensive Place That Smells Like Grandmas. It starts off with guitar and bass noodling, like a Derek Bailey/John Fahey brand of Blues, accompanied by soundscapes, voice samples and sundry sounds. As the music progresses it teeters between stilted Avant-Rock, spaced out chamber ensemble, ambient Space Rock and Psychedelic sound experimentation cum soundscape exploration. Imagine a morphing of classic Kosmiche, Avant-Blues, Noise/Jazz Orchestra, Henry Cow, The Residents and Sun Ra at his most experimental and you might get something like this tripped out tumble down the rabbit hole. And we get cool guitar contributions from Don Campau. Finally, Not The Normal Pigs But The Zombie Pigs From Down Below closes the set with a bit a tribal Out-Jazz and duck quackery.
You still with me? Because the fun continues with It Insists Upon Itself. The set opens with Get Yr Hoot On!, which combines drugged, cacophonous Free-Jazz with soundscape waves, including wailing efx’d horns that periodically melt into lysergic ambient blasts. Speaking of horns, this is the first Squeegeed Clean album to feature trumpet instead of saxophone. An Englishman & An Irishman Walk Into A 4 Track showcases art damaged Free-Jazz meets drones and mind-fuckedly altered state ambience. Both tracks include barely intelligible conversations that crop up from time to time. This segues seamlessly into What Format Are Your Flames In, which continues the spectral Free-Jazz jamming but adds an off-kilter rhythmic pulse and freaked out noisy synths that recall Sun Ra at his wildest. A Bit Of The Old Inner-Outer (Space that Is) opens with freaked out Psychedelic Blues alongside steady Jazz drumming and a pleasantly melodic trumpet melody, but soon develops into a deep space excursion where a Free-Jazz jam is wrestled into a barely containable soundscape stew. Burning My Wigs On Your Radiator features 14 minutes of what is some of the album’s most heavy rocking music, but also the most peacefully aural acid trip space adventurism of the set. I like the way rhythm, ambience, drones, voice samples and effects are morphed and manipulated into a cleverly whacked out cosmic goulash of messed up Jazz and spaced out fun. The equally lengthy Taking Turns To Turtle consists of the most sedately ambient music of the set, with quiet soundscapes and efx’d instruments drumming, trumpeting and guitaring along with the rhythmic ambient drift. I love the high intensity, explosively caterwauling orchestrated finale!
Nobody takes Free-Jazz and Psychedelia out into freaked out space like these guys. And if you’ve read this far you’re a sick person who desperately needs the medicine this music can provide.
Both albums can be found in the Freaky Shit section of all good record stores. Or, better yet…
Stream and download Sudden Illumination or a Kick in the Third Eye and other Squeegeed Clean releases at: http://squeegeedclean.bandcamp.com
Stream and download It Insists Upon Itself and other digitalDIZZY label releases at: http://digitaldizzy.bandcamp.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz