The Soup Thieves sessions are a series of collaborative Fez Dispenser recordings.
Volume 1 features jazz guitarist Johnnie Valentino.
This CD sounds different than other 6 Fez Dispenser Discs. Besides playing all of the 6 string guitar, JV brought his own out-there sound design work to this one. It is a nice counter point to FD\'s usual \'Sloth on Seconal\' dub style.
Check it out.
Here is his bio; borrowed from JohnnieValentino.com.
\"Born in 1957 in a South Philadelphia neighborhood filled with a history of jazz guitarists that starts with 1920\'s legend Eddie Lang continuing through to today\'s jazz guitar legend Pat Martino. Johnnie studied privately as a young man with Dennis Sandole, Joe Sgro and Pat Martino. Also during that time he studied composition at Rutgers University while doing local club dates and recording sessions at Alpha recording studio for Philly World Records. In 1984 Johnnie relocated to Los Angeles where he has been musically active in many facets such as writing,,recording, scoring, performing and sound designing for TV, films, toys and recordings.
During these years he has recorded with some of today\'s leading contemporary improvisers including Alex Acuna, Oscar Brashear, Delmar Brown, Luis Conte, Billy Drewes, Kermit Driscoll, Mark Ferber, Sherman Ferguson, Erik Friedlander, Vinny Golia, Gerry Hemingway, Alphonso Johnson, Russ Johnson, Andy Lester, Pat Martino, Bennie Maupin, Darek Oles, Mike Pedicin, Alan Pasqua, Mick Rossi, Mike Sarin, Bob Sheppard, Wadada Leo Smith, and Trevor Ware.\"
There you have it.
Over the years a lot of people have said cool things about Fez Dispenser.
Here\'s a bunch of it.
Some of it is hilarious.
The best part about FD isn\'t so much their seamless blending of genres, as it is the fact that they\'ve actually managed to put some life back into electronic music.
Moby Will Rip This Off Next Year
I\'m no psychiatrist, but I am very powerful, so listen here... this is a \'Crunchberry\' in the sea of turds of electronica. The hills are alive! It feels like a warm cup of Chamomile tea con shock therapy. Very snappy... smiling... smiling... smiling.
Somewhat Buddha Lounge-ish in feel but well able to stand on its own. Great in the background yet worthy of your full attention. I also picked up Ant Rifle and both CDs get a lot of play. Ages listening at home range from 19 to 54 and all love it.
Fez Dispenser blows out alternately smooth and smoking grooves on this joint. L.A\'s genre mashup masters strike for the third time in 2005.
An Antidote to Boring Electronica
Rather than falling for any of the cliches of electronic and sampled music, Fez Dispenser contains intriguing blends of jazz, Latin and middle-eastern elements, combined into into a new smooth, but not slow or boring sound.
There\'s an interest depth and range to all of the tunes in the album, and I think there\'s a love of music here that really comes through to the listener.
If you\'re looking for something cool, and not cold it\'s definitely worth checking out.
I was lucky enough to get advance copies of the last 2 Fez Dispenser CDs. I enjoyed them both so my expectations were pretty high as I pulled \'Ant Rifle\' out of the envelope.
\'Ant Rifle\' beat my expectations by a mile. This is clearly a breakthrough CD for FD. There is an effortless quality to the new stuff. The addictive \'dig into your brain while you\'re not looking\' effect has allways been there with FD; but Ant Rifle is on another level. Every single time I play this CD when other people are around someone asks \"What are we listening to?\" \"Where did you find this?\"
I have a feeling I\'ll be listening to Ant Rifle for years.
Just when you think you have it figured out...
these guys throw another unpredictable song at you. There is a layed back fusion feel throughout the cd penetrated by in your face beats and some provocative instrumental work. Lots of electronics but definitely has an organic overall feel. You will wear this cd out, trust me.
Trip-bop, hip-bop, bip-bop - whatever you want to call this stuff, it’s very good and
completely original. There are no comparisons that would do this music justice. They avoid the faceless anonymity that plagues a lot of instrumental music. This stuff has
personality, with interesting rhythmic structures and melodies that are challenging without being stupefying.
This is Very Cool Music.
This is very cool music. Beautiful. My blood pressure went down once the track started
playing. Please post some more!
I\'m always looking out for great Trip-Hop---and I found it. This CD is truly addictive. It sucks you in, and just when you think you\'ve got it figured out, you hear something new. Serious skills, guys. Keep it coming!
M. Matlock CD Baby Artist
Here\'s a grooooooooove for those who love ambient trip-hop. To put on something in the background that keeps your head bopping while doing something else. This is music for
programmers - music for working - music for restaurants - music for stores. Of course if you\'re a fan like me you can also totally dig on the amazing layered musicality of these loops, horns, basslines, and subtle production techniques. Or you can just put it on at work, and have everyone ask you all day, \"What IS this?!?\" Make sure
you send \'em to CD Baby
when they do. :-)
I just got yer new FezD in the mail today. 5 minutes into it, me and my roommate are dancing around the kitchen like fools. I did a tasety air-drum solo with the wooden spoons. : )
Sam [St Louis]
A Fez Dispenser review excerpt..
Fez Dispenser Is not: hip hop, acid-jazz, drum and bass, dance hall, dub, reggae, Trip-hop, lounge, 70\'s funk, jungle, blues or jazz. It does combine elements of all of those styles without making your brain hurt.
Chances are, if you\'ve been hanging out with anyone under 5 feet tall, you\'ve heard producer Matthew Thorne\'s work. By day he works in a recording studio inside a toy design center in El Segundo CA. So if your kids are playing with a plastic, talking cowboy who strums a guitar, this guy made him play. In the last 15 years , Thorne has composed, mixed, edited, performed or designed sounds for 100s of hours of animation (including 10 episodes of Liquid television\'s Aeon Flux), a few theme park rides and 3 rapping animatronic hip-hop parrots in the Tropicana Las Vegas. He has been nominated for sound design Emmys 5 times. He has won twice. You can also hear his tracks behind episodes of
\'Road Rules\',\'Cribs\' ,\'Anthony Bourdain No Reservations\',\'Behind the Music\', All Access\', \'Beyond the Da Vinci Code\', \'Total Request Live\' , \'Room Raiders\' , \'Strictly Sex\' , and about 30 other shows currently on the air.
All the while, he\'s been performing, recording, re-mixing and releasing indie music. With that music Thorne has carved out a head-space that is all his own.
A chance to work at Chick Corea\'s Mad Hatter Studios brought Thorne to Los Angeles in 1988. He was lucky enough to be behind the glass for sessions with Corea, Joe Di\'orrio, Robben Ford, Steve Lukather, Michael Landau, Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Berlin, and Prince.
\"I think I was speechless for the first 2 months I was there ; just trying to absorb as much as I could.That was the ideal place to start.The more experienced guys had their pick of the jazz sessions in the day. I was mixing the Hip-Hop sessions that ran from 7 pm to 7 am\"
In 1990 Thorne did a radio edit on Hi-C\'s \"I\'m not your puppet\".
\" We used a beta version of a program called Sound Tools. Since that day, I\'ve been making noise with computers...everyday.\"
These guys just might be the genuine article: A new Sound!
Way cool Daddio! This is rowdier than the other two. Me Likey :-}
Jim [White Sands}
Great job Man. And they said you\'d end up living in a van down by the river. ; )
Maggie [Eagle Rock CA]
mmmmmm Jazzylicious. Num num num num.
\"This is Trip-Bop\" is 60 minutes of modern, independent music in 13 tracks. Fez Dispenser\'s history of gene-splicing genre-ducking beat-driven music owes as much to Mango Santamaria and Esquivel as it does to the influence of today\'s Drum and Bass samplists and Breakbeat fader jockeys.
In the new CD, Thorne has somehow both widened the scope of his music and made it more cohesive. This stew of live and sample based elements hits on a much more emotional level than on his first Fez effort..
Here\'s a grooooooooove for those who love ambient trip-hop. To put on something in the background that keeps your head bopping while doing something else. This is music for programmers - music for working - music for restaurants - music for stores. Of course if you\'re a fan like me you can also totally dig on the amazing layered
musicality of these loops, horns, basslines, and subtle production techniques. Or you can just put it on at work, and have everyone ask you all day, \"What IS this?!?\" Make sure you send \'em to CD Baby
when they do.
-Excerpt from issue #230 of Aiding and Abetting zine-
\"Those of you looking for electronic beat work inside a jazz idiom need search no more. Fez Dispenser blows out its grooves in a full-on fusion attack, waxing smooth and blistering as necessary.
That\'s smooth in the delivery, not \"smooth jazz.\" These guys turn out one impressive piece after another, never falling into a repetitive rut. Full marks for originality.
Just enough of a hip-hop edge to the beats to keep the joints jumpin\'. Fez Dispenser uses everything at its disposal (samples, drum machines, guitars and more) to create complete aural snapshots. The texture within these songs is amazing.
A fine disc for your next party. Cool enough that it won\'t scare off the less adventurous in your crowd, but stylish enough to impress even the most imperious music snob (like, say, me). Quality and then some.\"
From\" John Bennet
\"fez dispenser - looking around the CD Baby web site I found your music. It has very interesting, fun rhythms. If I could summarize what I think in a word, it\'d be \"wheeeeeeee,\" which is a good thing.\"
Splendid zine writes
Skin & Barrel
Album covers can be deceptive. Take a good, long look at the image on the left. If you\'re like me, you assumed that this disc would be an obnoxious suburban pop-punk band\'s waste of allowance money. Expecting just that, I put the album into my stereo, pressed the play button and, for the first time in my life, had one of those comic-book thoughts that was all punctuation -- sort of a \"???????\"
Fez Dispenser is not three-chord nonsense about girls and fake IDs. It is, if you can believe this, some kind of funky, pseudo-abstract jazz creature with Latin percussion and hip-hop beats. I\'ll give you a moment to let that sink in.
Matt Thorne is a California-based producer, and the brains behind Fez Dispenser and this, if you pardon the out-dated expression, \"wicked-cool\" compilation of influences and arrangements. The album is primarily guitar-based; Thorne will switch from a fairly standard bop guitar in a track like \"Thank You Would Have Done Nicely\" to a slightly-distorted post-rock-by-way-of-Chicago on \"Smoothin\'\".Either way, these are some great songs, a wonderful combination of smooth grooves and fiery abstraction, and you won\'t be sure whether to sit still and bob your head or run around the room knocking things over and shaking your money maker, as it were.
\"Grease Slick\" is one of my favorite tracks here. It\'s instrumental, as they all are, but you\'ll hardly even notice, as the slick lounge chops slide along as effortlessly as any quality vocals. Behind the guitar and the occasional brass interruption,abstract, layered hip-hop beats and scattered sound effects provide the difference between doctor\'s office \"lite jazz\" and smoky funk.
Immediately following \"Grease Slick\" is another highlight -- the track named after the band itself. \"Fez Dispenser\" seamlessly combines the Latin percussion with those same urban grooves, leaving the jazz guitar outside and fully embracing the quality electronic scheme. It\'s as if robots from the future took over Telemundo with the sole purpose of making some crazy music -- and then one of them started playing a sitar.
Folks, I\'m not lying when I tell you that this is probably the best album I\'ve had the pleasure of reviewing so far. Even its less-than-stellar tracks, like \"He Speaks\" or \"Everything Works\", are at least decent, and do not detract from the incredible flow that Fez Dispenser creates; the atmospheric \"Watch For Falling Doors\" alone is worth whatever this disc actually costs. I strongly recommend checking this out -- it\'s a great end-of-summer chill album. -- Kevin White
\"Fez Dispenser is not beholden to anyone, and that evidences itself in the music. Fez Dispenser is Creativity. Fez Dispenser is Different. Fez Dispenser - it\'s not just for breakfast anymore - take two with any meal.\"
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (david burton)
\"I smiled, tapped my foot, replayed again and again then some more.I have sent copys to all my friends. YOU ROCK !!!\"
From: John M Peters reviewer for Theborderland.com
Fez Dispenser - Fez Dispenser (Skin & Barrel Music SNB004)
\"...Fez Dispenser is a \"jazz influenced, abstract, post-hip-hop project\". The brains behind the project is composer/musician Matt A.Thorne, who also records under the name \'Psychic Enemies Network\'. The fifteen tracks on the album certainly reflect a variety of influences - the mandatory drum machines are layered with an assortment
of jazz-influenced samples and loops, and this definitely makes for an enriched variety of tracks: Smoothin\' and Castillian Fennel Dub are good showcases for this. The bongo-rich Yet Again, with its Frippertronic-style
guitar riffing, is another goodie rising above the expected hip-hop cliches.
In reality this album is a rich exploratory lode of imaginative sound manipulation. Matt Thorne has turned the perceived expectations of hip hop on its head and taken several unexpected leaps of imagination, using a rich
library of sound elements: gamelans, latin percussion, Hammond organs, saxophones, and probably even the kitchen sink! I\'m by no means a big fan of hip hop but if this is what it is evolving into then perhaps I should
explore some more. Recommended!\"
From: Bob Lane
Date: 01-22-2002 16:16:05
Subject: what a sound
\"This is great. found it on the web and loved it. ya don\'t sound like an aggie....bob 72421\"
Mark Weddle of \'BrainWashed\' writes:
Fez Dispenser is Matt Thorne, one of two brothers that make up Psychic Enemies Network. With this project he dissolves the darkness and artfully expands upon the eclecticism already found in PEN\'s work (see also \"Valis\"). Fifteen instrumentals freely juxtapose played and programmed genre elements within tracks and track to track. But in the slick guitar riffs, vibes and grooves a jazz influence represents throughout. Thorne seems to be striving for songs that mix things up so much as to defy all pigeonholing and, more importantly, are just plain fun to play and listen to. Drum and bass backdrops the busy jammin\' of \"Thank You Would\'ve Done Nicely\" while horn-y dub and hazy dub make up \"Castillian Fennel Dub\" and \"Really I Do\", respectively. \"Smoothin\'\" slips into overdriven overdrive with a stompin\' spy thriller theme and \"Watch for Falling Doors\" percussively jazzes it up, both reminding me of Barry Adamson\'s recent imaginary soundtracks. Hip Hop beats and breaks add flava here and there, especially in \"Everything Works\", while the title track sets up camp near Muslimgauze territories. \"He Speaks\" dips into electronic whimsy a la The Orb with cute samples of helpful English phrases. \"Lake Placidyl\" offers a short-term treatment for insomnia with a slow moving quasi-psychedelic lullaby. And just to make absolutely sure I walk away happy, the lovely Stars of the Lid-like \"And Fade\" conjures up similar tired sounds as a finale. A little bit of everything goes a long way ...
From: Jon P Andersen
Date: 10-18-2001 21:04:50
\"Wow.. You have it sowed up..
No words can describe what I just heard..\"
There you go. The FD CD\'s are on the 5$ special list at CD baby at the moment.
That means you could get any 3 of them for $15...I\'m Just Sayin.