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    Spooky Actions – Retrospective

    Spooky Actions - Retrospective

    Spooky Actions is, ironically, a very non-spooky-sounding ensemble that employs guitar, bass, drums, woodwinds and cello to reinterpret Early, Western classical and Native American music in a light jazz setting. Retrospective gathers together truncated versions of lenghty recordings from the band’s voluminous vaults. (Most of these tracks include both straight and improvised versions.) Hailing from 200 BC and the 11th century, “Early Music” starts it off with two super-mellow flute-led excursions–one peppy and propulsive, and another that could lull you to sleep on a Sunday afternoon, no problem.

    The electric guitar takes over as leader on Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” and the mood ranges from a subdued quagmire to just the kind of light math jazz rock that wouldn’t upset Chuck Mangione. Arnold Schoenberg’s “Five Piano Pieces” Op. 23 douses the Pink Panther theme with a healthy dose of Pepto Bismol just as it transfers the Mandlebrot Set into music and puts it on shining display.

    Anton Webern’s “Five Movements For Strings” Op. 5 presents exactly the kind of difficult, complex music that the one wife you never had didn’t warn you about. But I’m warning you: it sounds like a gaggle of gentrified gerbils formulating quantum mechanics equations inside your head. After an hour of nothing but instrumental music, it’s kind of shocking when the singing kicks in on “Songs of the Nations Vol. 1 and 2,” which rescues the album from the thorny abyss with a collection of Native American tunes pleasntly re-worked in a light rock vein.

    Label: Muse Eek Catalog Number: MSK 154 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 18 Total Time: 75:10 Country: United States Released: 2008 More: Official, YouTube

    Text ©2011 Arcane Candy

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