Motorpsycho + Jaga Jazzist Horns – In The Fishtank (2003)

LPFrontCover1In the Fishtank 10 is a 2003 EP by Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist Horns, recorded in 2002 during their European tour and released via the Konkurrent label in 2003. Motorpsycho did a handful gigs together with the horn section of Jaga Jazzist and used to opportunity to record their addition to the Fishtank series.

The style differs heavily from both Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist records, consisting of mainly jazz fusion. The first three tracks can be described as rather soothing, with track 2 (a reworking of the song from Angels and Daemons at Play) as highlight. “Theme de Yoyo”, a cover of the Art Ensemble of Chicago song, steps (partly) into free jazz and “Tristano” is built around a hypnotic bassline (which is a recurring trademark of Motorpsycho) and clocks in at nearly 21 minutes, making it the second-longest studio track the band has recorded (the longest being the title track off of Little Lucid Moments).

Although this release clocks in at over 46 minutes, it is still regarded as an EP due to the number of songs, the usage of a re-worked older song and a cover tune. (by wikipedia)

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As stated in the liner notes, IN THE FISHTANK “offers a space for expression and experimentation.” And true to that mission statement, this EP features long jazzy jams from the Motorpsycho crew, with help from the horn section of Jaga Jazzist. “Bombay Brassiere” shines and shimmer, the horns adding a certain brightness. “Pills, Powders and Passion Plays” is much more introspective, with “sensitive guy” lyrics. The rock-influenced “Theme de Yoyo” takes its lyrics much less seriously, and is humorous in an odd way (with moments of instrumental chaos). The final track, “Tristano,” wanders about on its own merry way, and you can either go with it or not. The important thing is that you’ve been invited. (by scoundrel)

The horn section of Jaga Jazzist

You could argue that with Konkurrent’s In the Fishtank series, getting a great record is beside the point. The ten Fishtank albums released so far– featuring bands like June of 44, Low + Dirty Three, Tortoise + The Ex, and Willard Grant Conspiracy + Telefunk– all follow the same template: the label grabs bands that are touring through Holland, sticks them in a studio for a couple of days (most don’t even rehearse) and persuades them to cut records that are more experimental, offbeat and, critically, more casual than they would ever make in their normal studio time. Although strict jazz and improv artists toss out live records and unrehearsed meet-ups as a matter of course– Some Guys That Showed Up at the Velvet Lounge, Vol. 3 or what have you– it’s rarer for avant-rock, post-rock and jazz-informed bands to just scribble out an album and release it: LPs are events, and even EPs are policy statements.

It’s telling that even with bands as adventurous as Norway’s Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist, it’s hard to imagine any of their albums coming out as loose or random as this thrown-together EP. Jaga Jazzist– represented here by their horn section– is the jazz/fusion/techno nonet known for their densely pancaked instrumentals and gymnastic arrangements. Motorpsycho is a long-running psych-rock band, extremely popular in their home country, whose work jumps from classic rock jams and pastoral acoustics to hypercatchy psychedelia. (Their latest record, It’s a Love Cult, serves as a great introduction.)

In other words: This is a unbelieveable album … a hell of a record … and now it´s up to you to discover this album !

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The Jaga Jazzist horns have tagged along on a few Motorpsycho tours and done session work on their records, but In the Fishtank is their first real two-way collaboration. On the Mingus-referencing “Doffen Ah Um”, a typically knotty Jazzist instrumental rubs against Motorpsycho’s rock drums and grungy rhythm guitar; the soft psych-folk song “Pills, Powders and Passion Play” gets an extended instrumental break, highlighted by Mathias Eick’s muted trumpet. (by Chris Dalen)

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Personnel:

Motorpsycho:
Håkon Gebhardt (drums, percussion)
Hans Magnus Ryan (guitar, bass)
Bent Sæther (bass, guitar, piano, solina string ensemble, percussion, vocals)
+
Baard Slagsvold (piano, clavinette, nord electro, vocals)

Jaga Jazzist Horns:
Mathias Eick (trumpet, marimba, percussion, vocals)
Lars Horntveth (saxophone, clarinet, marimba, vibraphone, percussion, vocals)
Jørgen Munkeby (flute, saxophone, clarinet, marimba, percussion, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Bombay Brassiere (Horntveth) 5.57
02. Pills, Powders And Passion Plays (Sæther) 7.06
03. Doffen Ah Um (Munkeby/Sæther) 4.57
04. Theme de Yoyo (Bass/Bowie/Favors/Jarman/Mitchell/Moye) 7.28
05. Tristano (Ryan) 20.54

Labels

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Motorpsycho was founded in October 1989 in Trondheim, the main city of Trøndelag in the central part of Norway. The first line-up was Bent Sæther (vocals, bass), Hans Magnus “Snah” Ryan (guitar, vocals) and Kjell Runar “Killer” Jenssen (drums). They came up with their band name while watching a Russ Meyer triple-feature in London. Two of the film titles (“Mudhoney” and “Faster Pussycat”) were already taken by other bands, the name “Motorpsycho” was still available. Their first album was “Lobotomizer” in 1991, after which Killer quit and Håkon Gebhardt took over on drums, forming the nucleus of Motorpsycho for 14 years until Gebhardt left Motorpsycho March 2005 persuing other projects.

 

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