Darin Gray

St. Louis Shuffle

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Not that solo bass recordings signify a common commodity, but Darin Gray's solo electric bass outing might transcend any preconceived notions. Here, the artist stretches avant-garde standards or insinuations to the limit. He integrates the sounds of electrical contacts (input/output) with intermittent bass noise, steely-sounding effects, and fragmented lines. He uses his bass as a vehicle for producing moments of subtle expressionism amid sparsely fabricated manipulations. Sure, there are some interesting moments. Yet one often gets the feeling that Gray is performing for his own gratification, as this program elicits perceptions of a pet project. Overall, the artist conveys a fair amount of wit and ingenuity, but when viewed upon as a whole, his improvisations suffer from a plethora of intensely personalized abstractions. It just doesn't translate all that well.

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