Hello Mid-May –<
There seems to be plenty going on in Monkeyland, at least enough to keep me busy. But first things first.
For our May AotM, I am super pleased to feature Industrial Revelation, with selections from their 2 CD set Liberation & the Kingdom of Nri. In this writer’s opine, these guys are the best band in Seattle. Numero Uno. They were my Number 2 album for the year in 2015 behind The Sonics and that ain’t small potatoes, no sir. I’ve written about them a couple places before and will include that stuff below, but rest assured these gentlemen can get in a room and make it happen. I really love their recordings but they are a super live band and I tell you go see them. They will be playing at Rhythm and Rye here in Olytown this coming Friday, May 20 and you know I will be there.
Dec 26, 2015 – GMR – TD Top 10 Albums: The closest I’ve come to seeing these guys is finding a couple cases of their last CD Oak Head on the sidewalk and making sure they got back to them. I kept a copy (they said ok) and thought it was pretty cool. Have tried to go see them a couple times but since they got The Stranger Genius Award they pack out and I ain’t got in. Which brings us to this very fine album. I got it a few weeks ago and I still don’t completely know what I think of it. But I do know I really like it. These guys are considered jazzbos but I’m not even sure that quite describes it. There are definitely serious chops here but there is a prevailing sense of order that somehow seems different to me. At points it is rather grand – cinematic. It is not particularly avant garde or dissonant (which I tend to favor) though some of that intellect seems to inform this. At points it is super groovin’ like on Grace Love’s guest vocal on “First Dance.” Maybe this is just what jazz has become through the filter of thirty years of hip hop and popular music. I dig it.
Posted to Facebook Jan 3, 2016. “I went out and saw Industrial Revelation (for the first time) last night at Nuemos. This is a great band, at the height of their powers. The ease and beauty of their interaction is a wonderful thing to behold. It is effortless and highly pleasurable. They are each gifted musicians who have been playing together for ten years and know each other well. They clearly enjoy each other’s company.
I put their new album, Liberation & the Kingdom of Nri, at #2 on my Top Ten of 2015. I had a tricky time defining what they do. If you look at their own description on their bandcamp site, it fits the tricky mold. Their ephemeral nature comes into focus seeing them live. Ahamefule on the trumpet is almost like a rhythm guitar player in a rock band. He holds the basic line for many tunes and shapes it thru tonal and dynamic variation and to a lesser degree melodic variation. This leaves a ton of space for Josh on Fender Rhodes, who is living the wah-wah life. On top of his Rhodes is a stack of guitar pedals that he manipulates by hand. It is rare that that you hear a straight Rhodes sound coming from the stage – rather is a constantly changing wash of melodic time and space. D’Vonne is not a traditional jazz drummer in the sense of carrying time on the ride cymbal, snare is king – at points he just rocks four on the floor. Like his compatriots, his chops are super and he can go from a straight groove to open air accenting without a thought. Evan has monster chops like the rest, but also brings a sense of pure joy to his playing that is simply uplifting. As I watched him play, I thought, at that moment, there was no place more beautiful to be than inside his rapture.
In other GMR news, we will have out second Queen Annes release out to you in June and are working on a few more things for the rest of the year. Jeff says he will have two Green Pajamas albums (optimistic devil), Jim of Seattle is ready for album 2 as are the King County Queens. I have another three secret projects that we are working on – more on that later.
Fur For Fairies has a new Digital single “I Beathe You In” with a beautiful video, and I have a new digital single “Meditations on Prince Bowie.” Does this mean we are done making physical stuff? Nope. It just means we are gonna mix things up a bit and do some of them quick.
Selections from Liberation & the Kingdom of Nri:
01. Introduction: Mighty Nation
03. Lord, Let This Be The Last Time
04. Voice Memo -Night Love
06. Voice Memo – Beautiful
07. First Dance
08. I Jam 4U, My Love
09. Ellison Ellington
10. No Way Out But In
11. Voice Memo -Yours
13. End Of Courtesy
Produced by Industrial Revelation and Ahamefule J. Oluo
Recorded at Robert Lang Studios, Oak Head, and Dub Narcotic Studios
All compositions © 2015 by Industrial Revelation
Engineered by Homero Gonzalez, Sam Anderson, Ahamefule J. Oluo, and Paul Krogh
Edited by Ahamefule J. Oluo
Mixed by Josh Evans, Sam Anderson, and Evan Schiller
Mastered by Homero Gonzalez
Cover art, “After another visit from Sirius B,” by Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, photographed by Futsum Tsegai
Band photo by Kelly O
Liner notes by Larry Mizell Jr.
Layout and design by Emily Nokes and Ahamefule J. Oluo
Grace Love (Vocals on “First Dance,” “Introduction: Mighty Nation,” “There’s a Fire”
Jeff Coffin (Saxophones on “No Way Out But In”
Alex Guy, Brianna Atwell, and Maria Scherer Wilson (Strings on “HYPED!”)
Jeff Busch (Percussion on “PopKing”)
Thione Diop (Tama on “Man from Obibi”)
Jon Hansen (Tuba on “Voice Memo: Beautiful”)
Evan Flory-Barnes (Upright Bass)
D’Vonne Lewis (Drums, Vocals on “Introduction: Mighty Nation”)
Ahamefule J. Oluo (Trumpet, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Percussion, Effects)
Josh Rawlings (Fender Rhodes, Piano, Synthesizer, Accordion)
Official Promo Video for Liberation & the Kingdom of Nri Album by Industrial Revelation
Ten years after Seattle-based DIY jazz sensation Industrial Revelation came swinging into being, the powerful combo of D’Vonne Lewis, Evan Flory-Barnes, Ahamefule J. Oluo, and Josh Rawlings have delivered their most realized document to date: Liberation & the Kingdom of Nri. A couple ideas that had been gestating turned into unexpectedly tight demos turned into the unexpected tumbling-out of a pile of their best work to date—just as a year-long swell in the group’s profile (taking The Stranger’s 2014 Genius Award for music, for one) saw the quartet playing and wordlessly communicating on a new level. A humble, understated grandeur is a quality they all share, a commitment to exploration, not of some nebulous outer limits, but inner depths most shy from and deny. It’s the literal unearthing of those depths’ bounty that even inspired the album name. The centuries-ahead-of-their time bronze artifacts found in Igbo-Ukwu (a region of what’s now Nigeria) by accident in the first half of the 20th century were made with such advanced techniques that European (and Eurocentric) historians refused to believe they could in fact be the work of the Nri, a thousand-year-old nation unique in history in that they grew not by war, but by voluntary allegiance—including rejects and ex-slaves. Treasures of antiquity, a people’s legacy, the assaults of white hegemony—liberation.
– Larry Mizell Jr.
released October 10, 2015