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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Absolute Zero - Crashing Icons - 2000

“Music is a revolution”

Absolute Zero is the American based trio of Enrique Jardines (bass), Aislinn Quinn (keyboards & vocals) and Pip Pyle (drums). A lot of the older progfans will know the name Pip Pyle and will remember that he was the fantastic drummer who replaced Bill Bruford in that amazing band National Health.
(remember “Of Queues and cures”?)
Later he played in the band In Cahoots. In December 1992 Absolute Zero released an EP-length CD called “A live in the basement”. Pip joined the band in 1999 and helped to complete this second CD “Crashing icons”. It seems that the band has enough material for a third album but the first thing is the official release of “Crashing icons” in October 2003.

Absolute Zero is:
Enrique Jardines – Bass; Aislinn Quinn – keyboards/vocals; Pip Pyle – Drums.

The album opens with “Bared cross” (13:49) which is not the easiest track to begin with. The beginning is very complex and could be described as organized chaos. When Aislinn Quinn has her first vocal parts I get some memories of National Health. Because of the way Aislinn sings this part. But you can’t compare Absolute Zero to National Health. Then the later would make pop music compared to Absolute Zero. In the complex parts Pip Pyle shows he is still a fantastic drummer. Amazing track, but it seems my neighbors don’t speak to me anymore! Brilliant and insane at the same time.

The second track is the long “Further on” (20:45). The music is a little bit hectic every gap seems to be filled. Not the kind of music for stressed or nervous people. There is a lot of drums, percussion, marimba, etc. Sometimes it reminds me of the music of Frank Zappa. Aislinn sings/speaks in this track more like Annette Peacock or Laurie Anderson. Later on there are again some National Health references. This is one of my favorite tracks but I fail as reviewer because I can’t describe the music in a way that it is crystal clear to you.

The beginning of “Stutter rock” (4:25) is burning with a funky and snoring bass. Freaky keyboards are introducing a trumpet solo (Keith Hedger?). So the music has also some jazz elements. This piece and the next “You said” (7:27) blend into each other. There is nice heavy keyboard work in this part. At one point the music rocks, than it swings or gets freaky and complex.

The last track is called “Sueños sobre un espejo” (16:46). There are some funny South American melodies and the vocals are sometimes “on the edge”. But that also counts for the music of Absolute Zero. It is exploring the edges of several musical landscapes. Also in this piece are some weird moments which are impossible to describe.

The musicians are all skilled and unique. The synthesizer/keyboard work of Aislinn Quinn can’t be compared to anything. There is some fabulous drumwork by Pip Pyle on this record.

Maybe the best thing to describe Absolute Zero’s music is to write some keywords that came up in my mind when I was writing this review.

Cutting edge – Avant garde – Innovative - Progressive – Dissonant – Weird – Bizarre – Freaky – Jazzy – Complex - Brilliant - ….

Please listen first to the album at your local record shop to find out if this is your “cup of tea”. This intriguing, innovative and adventurous music is only for the open minded music lover.

Douwe Fledderus - September 2003
rating - Pre Master Mix

 

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