The Red Krayola

Malefactor Ade

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Malefactor Ade, recorded in 1989 and originally released in a tiny run on the U.K. indie Glass before finally showing up on a Drag City CD over a decade later, is one of the least essential Red Krayola albums. Recorded in Berlin in a single day by Red Krayola mainstay Mayo Thompson and a pickup band of German jazz musicians including multi-instrumentalist Albert Oehlen, who would go on to contribute to the next two Red Krayola albums as well, and the fairly well-known avant-garde reedsman Rudinger Carl, this brief album is bursting with ideas. However, not many of them really go anywhere, and it's frustrating to hear a too-brief sketch like "Colour Theory No. 4" wind up in barely two minutes, especially when one also has to slog through misfires like the honking "Blue Jeans" instead. It's no coincidence that the two best tracks, "Franz Von Assisi" and "Colour Theory No. 3," are also the longest, with the most time to follow through on and develop the intriguing interplay of these talented but under-prepared musicians. This is not the album to discover the Red Krayola with, although there's more than enough of interest to devotees.

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