Thursday, July 30, 2009

"e" is to the Power Trio what Fahrvergnugen is to Volkswagen

"driving pleasure"

Adrian single handedly introduces us to “e” with “a” which is a rather captivating coming attraction, that not only inspires us to listen through to the end, but captures our desire to do so, by the tail.

This is the first studio album that Adrian uses his band mates Julie Slick on bass and Eric Slick on drums. As we get our first glimpse of this trio together in the second track it harkens back to sounds reminiscent of Neurotica. Not enough to be pastiche but just enough to gather King Crimson fans together for a thorough listening of Adrian’s favorite new project.

A personal favorite of mine is the way that Eric makes use of the most simple drum kit yet together with Julie on bass they drive this trio like the force of a thousand elephants storming across the African plain. There is something animalistic about this group they seem to capture my attention at every twist and turn of this journey called “e”.

This studio recording of Adrian’s really captures the spirit of the live shows. The way Eric rattles around on the edges of his kit and Julie fills out the bottom end of this with her fierce definitive style of bass. It really gives one a sense of just how cosmically talented the other two thirds of this trio are.

Eric often enters into the layers of Adrian’s guitar with a bombastic drum riff and out of the blue Julie soars onto the scene from the bottom end of the spectrum. The true talent of this lineup of The Adrian Belew Power trio is heard for the first time in a studio recording and what a recording it is.

Sometimes the music has a very cerebral quality and cannot be properly put into words. It is for those moments that I will leave it up to your brains to decipher. At times the entire band is going completely off the wall with its organic fractalizations and just when your mind feels it cannot escape the madness, Adrian goes off into some very beautiful Soundscapes. This completes the equation which puts your weary mind at ease.

There are moments in this journey that have a very chime like quality and touch just a bit on the 80’s King Crimson. He also seems to pull out some of his old tricks here with sounds that remind me of the songs of whales in the deep blue sea. Only this time I think they are being analyzed by some alien beings from outer space. Check it out…..

In interviews I have heard Adrian talking about this being an entire cohesive piece arranged around “e”. I love these rather up and down scale like themes it has a sense of adventure about it and piques my curiosity as to what will come next! Meanwhile Julie and Eric are creating the glue that keeps this entire piece welded firmly together. This is probably why for me; this is the most interesting of Adrian’s project oriented albums. He obviously let them work out their own parts and share the limelight with him and boy do they ever!

Adrian’s playing has always been monumental in my book but he has finally found the other two pieces of the puzzle. With Adrian as a base and Julie and Eric as the other two sides of the triangle Adrian has found a Synergy in this band, which means that the sum of the whole is greater than its individual parts.

I love the way he uses the scales to build up a theme and then all of a sudden all chaos breaks loose with the rest of the band. There are so many intricate themes going on here and Julie is really playing some amazing things on this release. The trios’ interconnectivity is stellar; the changes in this are beyond amazing! Eric is crackling around like fireworks on the fourth of July on the rims of his drums. Adrian is pulling out all the stops with his solos in latter parts of this album. This album is definitely about the journey and the destination is “e” and boy oh boy what a destination “e” is.

This final track “e” is the culmination of everything on this album coming together to create the final composition. The percussion is crisp and the bass is ferocious! There is a power that only this Trio could show you. If you have not gotten this album yet please do you will thank me!

You can get your copy over at Adrian's website and even get it signed by the trio!




  1. I saw them last year and they played "e" for one of the first times live. I seemed that all three of them had a hard time playing it but when they got it made (they had to start for a second time) they were realy happy and I couldn´t believe what only three people on stage can do. Absolutely wonderful.

  2. Lutz,

    Aren't they just amazing? I have seen Adrian several times but only once with them. And as much of a guitarist as I am I could not take my eyes off Eric playing and Julie talking to him through her bass riffs. They were like identical twins who can finish each others sentances only with music. And they are a year apart.

    Glad you enjoyed them! I did too and am looking forward to this show in Asheville on August 24th.