Tuesday, July 22, 2008
CD Reviews: Kush - The Temptation Sessions/Streams On Consciousness Vol. 1
Kush – Streams Of Consciousness, Volume 1
The Temptation Sessions
Kush is a Toronto based Nu-Jazz ensemble that mixes free-form improvisational Jazz with ambient techno to create a new listening experience. Drawing on the best of the acoustic and electronic worlds, Kush finds an ability to craft unique and interesting sounds and compositions. Their 2002 release, The Temptation Sessions, was followed in 2004 by Streams Of Consciousness, Volume 1. Both recordings are reviewed below.
Streams Of Consciousness, Volume 1
Kush walks the line between New Age and Free Form Jazz with greater or lesser degrees of success on Streams Of Consciousness, Volume 1. Broken into seven Sweets (sic), the album plays almost more like a mellow house recording that traditional jazz. It is apparent that Kush, as a band, has some real talent, but Streams Of Consciousness, Volume 1 seems more the sort of music you might hear while on hold for the doctors office than something you'd go out and pay money to hear. That's not meant to denigrate the recording, but Streams Of Consciousness, Volume 1 just doesn't have a lot of meat to it. It's very easy to listen to, but doesn't require much thought or interaction as a listener.
This recording will find a market. There are folks who very much enjoy this sort of new-age light jazz. There are some examples of the genre out there that manage to stay very interesting and full of energy while being unobtrusive, but Kush just never quite seems to find the vivacity in Streams Of Consciousness, Volume 1.
Rating: 1.5 Stars (Out of 5)
The Temptation Sessions
The Temptation Sessions are another story altogether. Kush is still in the new age/jazz category here, but seems to have found a spark that eluded them on Streams Of Consciousness. There is a vivacity in the music here that is very repressed, but in some ways all the more interesting for that fact. New Life With Electricity is one of my favorites here, and Plaster Paris, Part One and Part Two are a definite treat.
Kush does relax a bit at times here, and the music becomes a little more of a wash at these points, but in general there is strong energy and repressed life in The Temptation Sessions. I was reminded at times of some of Andy Summers' best solo work (ala The Golden Wire). Give The Temptation Sessions a spin. Its great mellow party music, and an interesting listen.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
You can learn more about Kush at www.myspace.com/theoriginalkush. You can purchase a copy of Streams Of Consciousness, Volume 1 at www.cdbaby.com/cd/kush2. You can purchase a copy of The Temptation Sessions at www.cdbaby.com/cd/kush.