Trey Gunn - albums

Trey Gunn - concerts

Trey Gunn - interviews

Trey Gunn - miscellaneous

The Third Star

Minimalistic instrumentation, syncopated drumming, unusual female vocal styles and melodies, catchy harmonies, and unique guitar solos strongly characterise this release. The sound is a subtle mix of eccentric rock, noise, and hip-hop. Trey Gunn displays his talents here playing a noisy Warr guitar and a Chapman Stick. The entire album stands as a musical whole, with common musical elements present in different songs. The drums/percussion are one of the strong features in the album, and King Crimson's Pat Mastelotto makes a guest appearance on a couple of tracks. But it is Bob Muller's drumming that dominates. In fact, Trey Gunn found one of the drum parts of Mastellotto's so interesting that he used it in two of his songs (tracks 1 and 3). In the second instance, Trey Gunn composed a whole another song around Mastelotto's drum track. Trey Gunn's Warr guitar playing is smooth and fluid, and the ambience projected by the combination of the guitar and percussion is interesting. Of the vocals, I liked the ones on the track Symbiotic by Toyah Wilcox a lot (in fact, her vocal style reminded me of Yvonne Elliman, who played Mary Magdalene in the original studio recording of Jesus Christ Superstar). I also liked the vocals on the track Indiera by Serpentine. Trey said that when they were recording the song, "[her vocals] sounded like she was putting a curse on us. It was so strange and bizarre." I think that's an apt description of not just her vocals, but also some of the music on this album, and I mean that as a compliment.

The CD comes in a very unique case, which features different "postcards" that serve as liner notes containing some brilliant artwork and cool quotes. The music on the album was apparently influenced by Trey's observations of the night sky, living in northern New Mexico. All in all, it's an excellent package; one of the better releases I've heard thus far this year.

Music ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||