Track By Track: Bosch - Bosch

By John A. Wilcox

Take Random Touch drummer Christopher Brown, add bassist Kevin Sims and multi-instrumentalist Charles Greenleaf, stir gently, and you get Bosch! Recorded in just 48 hours, this debut disc shows the trio throwing caution to the wind and delivering spirited avant prog. Enough chatter from me! Let's let the boys take you track by track...

Track 1: Dreaming of Daybreak
CB: This track is typical of the imaginative play that Bosch enjoys. As always, we have no discussion of intention, time signature, key or any such thing. We roll the tape (or rather, spin the hard drive) and start listening and playing. The piece begins with a nebulous feel, with Greenleaf and Brown on percussion and Sims on bass. We have a focus but don't yet know where it is going. A direction begins to show itself and we begin to follow it while keeping the music in tension (the music's intention). What follows is truly like the flocking of birds. The whole has a shape and motion, but none of us has individually sculpted it. Our approach is invitational and open. Often the sound source's are as influential as any of the three musicians. Greenleaf moves on to keyboards and guitar and Sims introduces his groovebox. The music itself seems to take charge as the dominant force, leading us to participate in a yin/yang of passive awareness and initiating creativity. Our egos are subsumed in the excitement of creation. Our pleasure is the same in both a supporting and a leading role, and the delight of discovery and newness maintains our concentration and focus at an incredible level. The music morphs and evolves, very much like a sped up film of a nebulae transforming itself into mature planetary systems. Once that climax occurs time seems to slow down and we see the slow dance of planets and moons. At the end the music seems to take us down to the surface of a planet where daybreak unfolds before us.

Track 2: Aspire All Around You
CB: Ah, the exploding musicality of my band mates. I hardly play on this one - there was simply no need. It is refreshing to offer drums as filigree.

Track 3: A Long Way From Home
CB: This is Bosch rocking in some deep waters. All other tracks were done at Studio Roadnoise with my DW drum set but this is a recording by Chris Bishop of Radium Studios in Athens. He captured my drums in a big way and it was the swan song for this particular kit. These are a 1964 Rogers Holiday drum kit that my parents bought for me new. It was my only kit until about 1998. Nostalgia aside, they just had too many miles on them. I am happy to be playing DW and Ayotte now. Ill winds have blown for Bosch at recording studios in Athens. Our best studio performance was lost entirely to a technical problem. This track from Radium Studios really stood out and demanded to be on this CD.

Track 4: Savor the Fall
CB: Bosch is able to go to unexpected places and play with a range of genres. While more pop than my other band, Random Touch, there still seems to be no limit to the range of places Bosch can go with the music. The possibilities are both seductive and inspiring. I can't begin to say where my words came from; certainly it was nothing I had thought about ahead of time. It is all stream of consciousness but still the words can drill down on something like this imagined thesis of mediocrity. I'd like to thank Charles and Kevin for supporting the drums in taking up some serious real estate at times. You have to be working outside of the box to let the drums ride front and center with the other instruments as they often do on this track.

Track 5: Been Out for Three Days
CB: What a deliciously avant-garde piece. I find it very cinematic and sinuous. One of the joys of playing with Charles and Kevin is their use of synthetic beats. It is new to me and I love the freedom it offers the drums.

Track 6: Moving Machines
KS: I remember having a light hand in this jam. Skittering piano, bleeps etc. The end result reminds me of one of Tex Avery's cartoon landscapes that features The Goons. Lop-sided and unexpectedly cohesive.

Track 7: Walkabout
KS: I love the way fragmented bass falls away to an R2D2 moment in this one, then everyone bursts apart at the sonic seams. Bass started out front in this one, but I feel this track really came together when I faded into the background. Chris and Charles' playing swelled and strapped the jets on this song.

Track 8: A Tornado Round
KS: This track is a 'clear your ears' section of a much longer track that stands up well on its own. I was keying on Chris' snare rolls for call and response with my loops. The gaps widened, and furry cables of light tumbled out.

Track 9: Everything Begins
KS: This is one of my runaway favorites on this record. Being foley artist to Chris' vocal is always fun to me. It provides a visual context that extends throughout the rest of the jam. Breaking down to complete silence and emerging in a deep-sea ham radio den; just to ride out the track on some east Venus dub is something you just can't plan. Lovely!

Track 10: Bishops
CG: This track has garnered some attention in current reviews of the lp. The closest to the inter workings of pop or rock we have achieved thus far. A psychedelic flurry exchanges into a victorious running of the breed. I love the push and pull of this track as well as the ebb and flow. A must.

Track 11: Awakened by Touch
CG: Awakened by Touch skirts along in another dimension. Brian Eno gets a nod with the undulating snake sounds underneath. Chris' kick and toms have great depth here. Enter my Miles Davis (circa Filles de Kilimanjaro) inspiration at 3:33. The organic twists and turns are soon broken into an exciting free form interplay (ala Guy Picciotto's Rites of Spring meets Can) and somehow lands on a note that would not be out of place in a Marx Brothers film.

Track 12: Unfolding
CG: This one indeed unfolds. Percussive interplay and voices from the unknown are overtaken by a simple childlike melody. The top is serene as the workings underneath are of the distant, clustered and fury variety. It indeed unfolds to a nice drum/melody interplay that soothes and oozes nocturnal. A thorazine party....

Track 13: No Carnival Complete
CG: I love this track. The only thing this carnival lacks is your imagination. Snake charmers, spinning kaleidoscopic lights, twisted mirrors, dust and hallucinations reign supreme within. This one really gives a sense of focus upon the theme (which, by the way, was not realized until we finished recording the track). Complete serendipity. This is the unexplained but often realized allurement found when we as players converge. The samples used within this certain track are definitely of the "right time, right place" variety. Could not be duplicated the way it was if recorded in a million lifetimes.


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