Richard Thomas

Soggy Martyrs

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Not so much out of step with the "in crowd" as he is several strides ahead of it, Thomas remains as endearingly unknowable as ever on SOGGY MARTYRS. Still broadcasting from the decentralized isolation of his Welsh station and resisting the pull of common reality, Thomas delivers a splendid, second full-length relay of wayward psychedelectronica.

SOGGY MARTYRS gives the impression that Thomas' only contact with the world we know comes from a cheap radio--his fragile link to mankind-at-large via disrupted airwaves--and that he absorbs the human experience through observation. Thomas' impression of human music appears to have been patched together from the erratic blips and blurps of hip-hop, folk, rock, and million shades of jazz his receiver intercepts in transmission. If only all Earthmusic actually was as interesting as "Acid-free Atlantis" (Pygmy hymn by way of Santana, Eric Dolphy, and Caetano Veloso), "Manicougan 5" (fusion as interpreted by doped-up chimpanzees), "In Your Mouth" (Highlands bagpipe-and-drum reel as aural auger), or "Echo/Kilo/Whiskey" (nanve asteroid-belt electronica-Sun Ra tangling with To Rococo Rot). Substituting cryptic pictographs, rude noises, and flighty exposition for question marks and blanks, MARTYRS presents as quite an imaginative interpretation--more supposition than sociology.

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