World of Tomorrow

Interstellar Immigrant

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Number five in World of Tomorrow's steadily growing discography, Interstellar Immigrant features five tracks recorded live in New York City in July and September 2003, and five tracks recorded in the studio with avant-prog legend and wizard engineer Bob Drake. Perhaps the group didn't have enough time and/or money to spend with Drake, as the studio pieces lack the crystal clarity and booming thunder that define his work as an engineer. Instead, if the music is truly exciting ("Inbetweenie" in particular), the sound quality is a disappointment -- although one may be tempted to attribute the problem to some unenlightened mastering job. The group's lineup has expanded from quintet to sextet with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Pierre Verbeek. The approach is still resolutely free, generally groove-based, often ecstatic, and occasionally messy. The horn section (everyone but Scott Prato brings a sax, trumpet, or trombone to his or her lips at one point or another on the album) showcases lots of bastardized soul/funk interplay, while Bonnie Kane throws in more than a few fiery solos, with or without electronics. Of the studio tracks, "Ivory TV" and the aforementioned "Inbetweenie" stand out. The live tracks feature short edited moments and two extended improvisations. Belonging to the latter category, "Somewhere/Somewhere Else" is a riveting 15-minute jam with moments of high intensity -- planned or not, at one point the whole band sounds like a runaway train, literally! Not as clean sounding as Global Citizen, Interstellar Immigrant remains a very decent offering.

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