Six-Fing Thing | Self-Portrait as a Venerable Shrub

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Electronic: Experimental Electronic: Ambient Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Self-Portrait as a Venerable Shrub

by Six-Fing Thing

Ethereal, ambient, orchestral and electronic
Genre: Electronic: Experimental
Release Date: 

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1. The Basic Nobility of a Small Boy
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6:26 $0.99
2. Logorrhea/Passing Back and Forth the Same Old Fish/The Bleeding
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16:40 $0.99
3. Banana Tree Roots with Ants
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7:26 $0.99
4. Theme for a Collapsed Blue Civilization
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7:17 $0.99
5. Self-Portrait as a Venerable Shrub
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8:16 $0.99
6. Slaves of Time
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1:56 $0.99
7. Wisdom
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11:35 $0.99
8. The Deep Pain of the Dung Beetle
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7:14 $0.99
9. Wisdom Returns
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2:42 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The world the Six-Fing Thing inhabits is a strange one. Blue civilizations are born and collapse in a splash of Technicolor sound, gypsy caravans tinker with sputtering Moog synthesizers as they wind through mountain passes. And the legion of chimps previously hammering at typewriters in attempt to replace the works of Shakespeare are now fiddling with pneumatic musical devices of unknown origin to rewrite Stravinski,
Six-Fing Thing, the musical alter ego of visual artist James Cobb, creates sprawling, sometimes jagged, soundscapes that defy east categorization. A single piece can move between the angularity of a lost Captain Beefheart track, a Lamonte Young-style drone and into naturalistic ambient sounds before culminating in a horn-driven squall.
Combining composition, improvisation and aural cut-and-paste Six-Fing Thing navigates between poles set in a shifting world that cannot physically exist but should.


Reviews


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Progressor Rock Pages

overall, this is a mind-blowing masterpiece.
Most of the pieces on this remarkable album are too complex to be comprehended even after a few successive listens. Nevertheless, the hypnotism that this music is filled with despite of its intricacy will definitely be of help to those really looking for new forms of progressive music. In other words, welcome to the feast all the academicians and ProgFessors! Don't cast doubt on this recording - overall, this is a mind-blowing masterpiece.

Aural Innovations

Cobb and company delve into some moody progressive rock and jazz territory
After the opening track, The Basic Nobility of a Small Boy, which reminded me a little of Ultramarine from their United Kingdoms album, Cobb and company delve into some moody progressive rock and jazz territory on the nearly 17-minute medley of Logorrhea/Passing Back and Forth the Same Old Fish/The Bleeding Heart of the Blue Bottle, with lots of RIO influences on this one. Banana Tree Roots With Ants is a very minimalist piece of fairly restrained jazz, but surprises with some unexpected outbursts from the organ. Theme For a Collapsed Blue Civilization is indeed a kind of bluesy, experimental soundscape. Very easy to lose oneself in. The title track picks up the pace a little for some weird, jazzy meditations amongst clattering noises and more ambient sounds. The relatively brief Slaves of Time comes out of nowhere, offering up some crazy piano noodling with percussion that’s just all over the place. The 11 ½ minute Wisdom is a stately jazz dance number with surrealistic touches, transporting the listener to some long forgotten ballroom on the edges of the night to dance with sad ghosts. The appropriately melancholy Deep Pain of the Dung Beetle is almost classical in nature, with its sad piano drifting amidst experimental atmospherics. And then, why not, throw in some banjo for the last track, the whimsical Wisdom Returns, which also has some really strange vocals, and poignant saxophone playing.
I know I’ve made Self Portrait as a Venerable Shrub out to sound like an album of really strange music in the tradition of bands like Henry Cow and Art Zoyd, and it is, but it’s also got a surprising accessibility to it. It’s both a challenging and an easy listen at the same time. Not exactly a simple thing to accomplish, but Six-Fing Thing accomplishes it in fine form.

Letr It Rock-DME Music Site

An aural watercolor, in a minimalist way.
Six-Fing Thing is a brainchild of James Cobb, not only a visual artist but an aural too. That makes sense: a painting doesn't allow to call for a bunch of friends to join in the fun. If only there was fun. You'll hardly want to live in this densely idiosyncratic, Beefehartian world where, in "The Basic Nobility Of A Small Boy" flute sounds fly around the ears and strange voices fill your head, while the title track's Coltrane-esque kitchen-sink acid-jazz wraps hangs on quite comfotable. With all the musique concrete noizes and splashes, it's a sober kind of buzz, though, to relate to with no chemical aid, and lazy guitar and sax of "Banana Tree Roots And Ants" swirling around the light percussive axis demand no explanation, yet one needs a lot of imagination to cotton on as to what's behind psycho bubbling of "Passing Back And Forth The Same Old Fish" or the "Wisdom Returns" madful dirge. And in this enigma lies an appeal.

Aiding and Abetting

The unexpected arrives almost every minute and is almost always welcome
Cobb handles reeds (saxes of all sizes, clarinets and a few exotic-sounding things) and percussion. He grounds his pieces in a bass groove or a particular beat pattern and then goes off. This isn't free jazz. Not exactly, anyway. But the structure is often more imagined than real.

Often, Cobb's compositions approach the ambient, which is kinda cool. He does use keyboards and other electronic gear at times, but the sound is always organic at the base. Cobb borrows from all sorts of musical traditions, but mostly he invents his own.

Which is more than fine by me. Every piece is different. Different in substance and in personnel. Everything bounces back to Cobb, of course, but that free-spirited approach has served this album well. The unexpected arrives almost every minute and is almost always welcome. Most impressive.

Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal

the album really took a hold on me
At times some of the songs even seem to verge upon a most familiar musical direction, reminding me of any other progressive rock act, but some of the constant rhythmic changes soon rush forward, and again the introspection flows out, returning to the same starting-point, and the very same originality as well. In spite of all this sonority seemingly disharmonized, the album really took a hold on me, keeping it in fact a shine of its own. However I would say ‘’Self-portrait As a Venerable Shrub’’ is mostly recommended for that kind of listener who is not attached to any familiar prog trend, but that listener who is often attentive to the most inovative musical projects. As I told previously, it is hard to describe the sonority of the music proposed by this band, otherwise, I can surely say the James Cobb’s musical view trends toward an avant garde direction, and as I use to be loyal to my convictions, I better believe in what I have said ever since.

Space Rock

Pots and pans, anyone?
Specialising in lengthy, sprawling soundscapes that lurch all over the musical horizon, this is challenging in a crazed freeform jazz style, interpolating clashing sounds and out and out freakery. Pots and pans, anyone?