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Jugalbandi: The View is Better from the Top of the Food Chain
2000, Great Artiste 89 Records, GAJG001

The View Is Better from the Top of the Food Chain is an experimental album of two part improvisation of guitar from Greg Segal and drumming from Hyam Sosnow. The first few tracks are comprised of unstructured exploration that are based upon completely spontaneous musical ideas that have no planning. Because of the lack of composition, there are no coherent themes or structure that can be called arrangements. Besides that, some of the guitar work is on the raw side and does not resolve notes well with stable tonal centering around the implied notes. The recurring track, "Erwin Park", has a Hendrix-like progression that brings the first semblance of coherency to the album, but doesn't go anywhere with it.

In short, the CD is comprised of a lot of spontaneous guitar noodling that has some good guitar playing in places but the lack of direction and structuring does not lend itself well to coherency. But, if you are into spontaneous improvisation that defies convention, this is an album you might want to check out.

Guitar Greg Segal
Drums Hyam R. Sosnow
1) The View is Better from the Top of the Food Chain
2) Moving Towards Kyoto
3) Erwin Park
4) Rest Stop
5) Erwin Park (Jam)
6) Reciprocal Demonology
7) The Toast Beckons
8) Castle Bravo
9) Erwin Park (Reprise)

~ Christopher Ruel ~ ~ ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight

Greg Segal: Always Looking on the Dark Side of Life
2001, Phantom Airship, PARGS01

Always Looking on the Darks Side of Life is a compilation of tracks from five different albums by Greg Segal. Segal's style is off-beat, and as the title suggests, has a dark perspective that is conveyed through the music from his different CDs. The music is primarily a combination of guitar, drums, and vocals that enounce Segal's unusual angle of approaching things. The music is progressive in its unorthodox, dark feel and the exploratory arrangements that project Segal's darkened vision. The instrumantalism is not progressive in the sense of advanced guitar or bass technique that many fans of progressive music are interested, though there are a few places that have some speedy sections with outside, dissonant scales that are traversed. The compositions are unusual and have a character that may be attractive to fans of out of bounds type music.

Guitar, All instruments, Vocals Greg Segal
From: Night Circus
1) As the Sky Turns to Fire
2) Cold Sky
3) Night Circus (pt 2)
4) Introduction
From: A Man Who Was There
5) If I Die Tomorrow
6) So Far
7) King of Illusion
8) A Man Who Was Here
From: Experimental Guitar
9) Discharge
From: Water from the Moon
10) Nothing in the Dark
11) The Taker
12) I Was Back in School Again
13) Water from the Moon
14) Honor
15) Motifs
16) The Time to Be
17) Demolished
18) What Gives You the Right

~ Christopher Ruel ~ ~ ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight

Greg Segal: In Search of the Fantastic
2002, Phantom Airship, PARGS02

Greg Segal pumps out another of his exploratory brand CDs with his 2002 release In Search of the Fantastic. Once again, Greg embarks upon a divergence into unusual harmonization and exploratory arrangements. The production on this CD is notably better than his previous efforts that were less refined probably due to less sophisticated production equipment and more effort on this release. Greg explores sonic soundscapes that are more mood music than composition. The music is more of an experiment in abstract soundscaping than in structured arrangement and harmonization. There is a lot of noodling with unusual sounds that Greg derives from different instruments, but he does manage to put this noodling into some context for the trance music that he produces.

This type of exploratory space music is not my area, so you had probably best consult a review from a reviewer that has a better handle on this genre!

Guitar, All instruments, Vocals Greg Segal
1) Alone
2) Looking for Paradise
3) Nad
4) Sahara, 1909
5) Congruence Asserts Its Presence
6) Madstone
7) Returns
8) Snallygaster
9) The Deros Discover King Solomon's Mine
10) Sanctuary
11) The India-Appalachia Railway
12) Was It Childhood
13) The Bad Ass Ride
14) Around the Healing Spring
15) Bhoga
16) The Backroads of Time
17) What Once Was Is
18) Of Brief Stays
19) Wednesday, 10PM
20) Paradise Is Where You Find It

~ Christopher Ruel ~ ~ ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight





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