This is the seventh volume in a hopefully never-ending monthly series that showcases the talents of Atlanta's finest underground musicians at the Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery. ED Recordings is a CD-R label that issues limited numbers of these things for the sheer pleasure of anyone who cares to listen. The group improvisation encountered on this recording is a step away from the music made on previous volumes in that it relies heavily on electronics -- huge synthesizer sounds and industrial sampling, cell phones, drum machines, the whole bit. This is a whole lot noisier than any of the other volumes, with 11 musicians included. Along with the electronics are Hormuz Minia on vocals (he also plays cell phones), Robert Cheatham on saxophones, Kevin Haller and Stan Woodard on guitar, pianist Keith Lesley (whose driving modal work made Vol. 6 such a joy), drummers Mathew Proctor and Alex Lambert, Ed Pias on East Indian percussion, Roger Ruzow on trumpet, and Dead Air Transmissions handling the lion's share of the electronics for a number of the participants to hook into. Also different is that track number three is a drum solo, track four a saxophone solo, track five a piano solo, and various groupings of ensemble members are present on tracks six through nine. This is a break from precedent, but it's a great change of pace, especially since the ensemble pieces -- particularly parts two, six, and seven -- are so intense. Number eight is a beautiful study in drones and percussion with some wonderful guitar and Indian drum interplay, and the closer is a beautiful angular piece -- featuring Lesley, Ruzow, Cheatham, and a drummer -- that is reminiscent of the early Ornette Coleman Quartet. It whispers along at a nocturnal pace, carrying the whole thing -- this wild and weird conversation among musicians, their instruments, and their audience -- into the night.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek