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Avant-Garde → Do 5  

Do 5

Artist: Mahogany Frog
Mahogany Frog - Do 5 CD
Label: Moonjune
Regular Price: $14.95
On Sale For: $7.48 
Year: 2008
Format: CD

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Mahogany Frog's "Do 5" is the fifth full-length release from this Winnipeg-based outfit. Over the past decade the group has been saturating their own brand of psychedelic jazz-rock, an instrumental brew that is hard-hitting, challenging, experimental and noisy, but catchy as hell. "Do 5", the most cohesive Mahogany Frog album to date, and it seems that the four members of MF are on a crusade to change the way people listen to music. Melodic, harmonized leads slice through lush walls of thick, warbling, tube-driven vintage organs and analog synths. Snarling, feedback-ridden guitars riff hard in unison with a punchy, fuzzy bass. Amplified glitch-esque electronic beats melt into sporadic, frantic drumming. The themes progress quickly, and the instruments change roles often. Teaming up with Winnipeg recording wizard/producer Mike Petkau, the recording process in itself was a bit of an experiment. Recorded over seven months during the winter of 2006/2007 at MCM Studios, the band gave themselves the liberty to take their time and try some new things. Petkau, who's methods were somewhat familiar to the band (he had engineered the Frog's previous two releases "On Blue" and "Vs Mabus") was open to trying unorthodox mic setups and amplification techniques, using the unique room (which is typically used for acoustic/choral recordings) to it's potential. Everything was amplified full-tilt through a collection of vintage tube amplifiers, from the synths and guitars to electronic beats and acoustic percussion. The result is a heavy, explosive album that sounds like combusting vacuum tubes and tearing speakers, a hot, dirty trip through countless musical ideas. It is a record that fully captures all the elements involved getting pushed to their limit, from the personnel to the equipment... and the listener hearing it.

"Colorful music from a Canadian quartet from Winnipeg that fuse elements of noise and brutal prog with a big helping of Canterbury-style jazz rock. Recommended if you like Stereolab, Tortoise, Soft Machine. This unique Winnipeg four-piece masterfully combines colourful melodic washes and structure with lyrical polyrythms, all with kamakazi determination. Carefully conceived compositions decoded with keyboards, guitars, horns, samples, effects and percussion." - Wayside Music, USA

"This is truly an album that truly stands up to frequent exploratory listening." - What's On Winnipeg, Canada

"As ungainly, unwieldy, and chameleonic as their name, they also aspire to a much higher level of art rock than many current contemporary ensembles." - Michael Nastos, All Music Guide/Billboard.com

"Sure enough, this album signifies a wonderful entry into the modern day progressive-rock arena.Ê Unlike many of its peers, this outfit truly makes a difference.Ê All the compositions stick!Ê And the overall program beckons repeated listens as IÕll go out on a short limb, asserting that many advocates of this genre will not be disappointed." - JazzReview.com

"Mahogany Frog lives and breathes in the volatile terrain somewhere between the prog-rock and jazz - a wide open world of musical indulgence wherein ideas count, bravado reigns and the perfunctory rules are given short shrift. More outright feral than 2005's Mohogany Frog on Blue, DO5 maintains a near constant state of sonic anticipation throughout: Fearful regimented stomps and gurgling celestial waves give way to everything from brooding Morricone twang (mariachi trumpets and all), fractured white noise and even a hedonistic handclap disco groove, without ever getting lost in its own navel. Smart, savage and, most importantly, sardonic." - Ottawa Press, Canada

"DO5 demonstrates what might happen if Radiohead and Sigur Rós were put into a blender with Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis, then dropping the vocals. ... Mahogany Frog suggests, perhaps, one possible future of progressive rock, bringing together elements of electronica, ambient, industrial and jazz into the more familiar terrain of detailed, long-form writing, odd meters and neoclassicism." - All About Jazz

"he Winnipeg outfit known as Mahogany Frog are back with their fifth release of avant-jazz/prog mayhem titled DO5, a sometimes loud and chaotic, and other times atmospheric & jazzy affair that will thrill lovers of intense instrumental music. At times reminiscent of early Soft Machine, mixed with a healthy dose of Jack Johnson era Miles Davis as well as Djam Karet, making for a truly exciting listen. Expect plenty of explosive & jagged guitar riffs, wild Moog and organ excursions, rumbling, fuzz drenched bass, trumpets, and crashing drum work. On the epic 11+ minute "T-Tigers & Toasters" the band is at their most savage, waves of guitar feedback ondulating over pounding rhythms, exploratory synths, gentle piano,and spacey electronics. This segues right into the keyboard drenched "Last Stand At Fisher Farm", at times sounding like a early 70's Mike Ratledge organ/Fender Rhodes workout, trumpets blaring and plenty of tube-driven power. Tricky drum licks from J.P. Perron and Scott Ellenberger's distorted bass lines permeate the fusion laced "You're Meshugah!", while "I Am Not Your Sugar" is beefy, venemous heavy instrumental rock, fuzz-toned guitar riffs and bulbuous bass crashing all through the mix like runaway trains. You have to hand it to Graham Epp & Jessie Warkentin here, whose collection of vintage keyboards, guitars, and tube amps create one hell of a huge wall of sound. The spacey "Demon Jigging Spoon" is majestic prog with great guitar melodies, while "Medicine Missile" could easily be confused for a late 60's/early 70's psychedelic acid trip soundtrack, complete with effects laden guitar solos and trippy rhythms. Atmospheric prog and 60's styled fusion collide on the lovely "Lady Xoc & Shield Jaguar", a real treat with plenty of spooky keyboard textures and sinewy guitar lines, and "Loveset" finishes the CD off in almost Tangerine Dream styled grandeur, with a little dollop of jazzy trumpet melodies thrown in for good measure.It's often chaotic, noisy, and bombastic, but that's what makes DO5 so damn cool. Mahogany Frog might have just created their most enjoyable and intense release here, a feast for those into vintage sounds that don't necessarily need lots of melody to go along with it." - Sea Of Tranquillity, USA

ARTISTS
Graham Epp & Jessie Warkentin- electric guitars, MicroMoog, Farfisa Organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric & acoustic pianos

Scott Ellenberger- electric & acoustic bass, Briscoe organ, percussion
J.P. Perron- drums, conch & electronics
Graham Epp & Scott Ellenberger trumpets

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