YOURfLESH Feb 2000 issue 42 review of CREVICE Think of pleasant things.
Iīm convinced that thereīs something in the Texas water. How else could you explain 13th Floor Elevators, Butthole Surfers, or Crevice ? Moody and textured like an old Durutti Column record , Crevice creates futuristic soundscapes that incorporate a mixture of classical tones with anti-rhythmic synth sounds for the space odyssey. Broken down into four parts, each piece runs into one another forming a soundtrack that moves from scene to scene. Somewhat similar to the Bowie/Eno collaboratrions, Crevice caprtures the darkness that is Berlin.
EXPOSE May 2000 issue 19 review of CREVICE Think of pleasant things.
One of the cooler ambient-styled releases Iīve heard lately. Perhaps the coolest thing about them is that although they dwell on drones and Tangerine Dream soundscapes, they use virtually no synthesizers. Instead, they use ( among other things ) piano, theremin, saxes, pedal steel guitar, violins, e-bowed guitars, all recorded live. This helps the vitality and warmth of the serene music to no end, as the six-piece band ebbs and flows through all four parts of this epic soundscape. "Part One" begins with a distant crying pedal steel that reminded me of some of Fred Friths solo material: it then mutates, all over a drone, through e-bowed guitars, treated violin, and plenty of detailed layering beneath the leads. "Part Two" introduces a repeated thumping bass note accompanied by some even more wild violin parts. "Part Three" features an old scratchy sounding tape of what sounds like a Sinatra imitation, singing, " ... think of pleasant things... " This juxtaposition of the sublime with the ridiculous recalls the anachronisms of prime Faust, and serves as a nice thematic centerpiece for the album. "Part Four" closes with more drones and spontaneously organic textrues ( got that ? ). In its own twisted way, this album really does make you think of pleasant things-- the sheer joy of creating layers of mood, carved out of real emotion rather than technical know-how and fancy gadgets. Quite a fantastic album , and one of my favorites of the year
PTOLEMAIC TERRASCOPE Fall 98 issue 25 review of CREVICE 2
The length and span of new Texas psychedelia is a continuous source of amazement to me, and now I find another Orchestra of Heads out there in the desert conducting bizarre spirit-drone experiments to beam into the satellite dishes on top of our heads. I didnīt hear their debut, but on the strength of this set of vibrations, I may have to correct that inattentiveness on my part. The original Crevice was apparently a 3 piece, now boosted to a 7 piece for this follow-up by the addition of various very strange people playing violin, cello, saxophone , tape loops and sundry electronics, not to mention the guy who was signed on to make music by blowing into toilet paper rolls and smashing up Barry Manilow records " to force the records to make better music than they were originally created to make". The result is the predominately live "Crevice 2" , a time-bending series of atmospheres that stand out from the plethora of similar stuff out there at the moment by dint of a genuine group-mind formation and some really deft instrumental touches. I particularly like the 4th track ( I always get the ones without track names! ), a constantly evolving wraith of a composition which pits some staggeringly adept violin against washes of guitar, cymbal and electronics to take the listener on a Steadicam journey down the vessels and into the heart of aloneness. By contrast, the following track has a jazz club intimacy, warm slide guitar drones and sensual saxophone walking their fingers up your spine, before the piece erupts into a more challenging skronkadelicterritory, echoing Subotnick and the more vanguard moments of the revered 50 ft Hose, all serving to add to the sense of timeless sonic adventurousness. Track 6 has a loungy jazz vibe that you expect Ken Nordine to pipe up at any moment with an archetypal soliloquy. I recommend that you reserve this an A-LIST table in your head space immediately.
ALTERNATIVE PRESS Jun 98 issue 119 review of CREVICE 2
Alternative Press recommends: CREVICE 2 - An 11 member strong San Antonio,Texas,collective, Crevice make eerie orchestral maneuvers and darkly beautiful droneage. Recorded live in unusual settings, these 7 pieces subtly invade your consciousness and hold it hostage - and you gladly submit.
AUDION #39 Dec. 97 review of CREVICE 1 and CREVICE 2:
Strange and mysterious, Crevice are an obscure, elite sound-art combo from San Antonio, Texas. A new name to me , and a band that, with a little refinement, could go a long way. Crevice seem to be on the one hand influenced by the neo-Dadaist stance of acts like Nurse With Wound, Negativland, HNAS, and such-like, whilst musically they relate closer to French 70īs electronic-based music like Heldon, Lard Free or Pole, otherwise, a more sinister twist on Fripp & Eno. The combination fits nowhere comfortably , as itīs so unlikely a mixture!
Their debut CD, simply titled CREVICE (Uncle Buzz UBR02) features just one track with no sub-indexes, so it has to be listened to as all one piece. The disc starts with a statement about the psychedelic music experience, which concludes "...itīs sort of a way to blow your mind.....ON MUSIC". After that, maybe youīd expect a headfirst plunge into a deep psychedelic groove, with rattling drums and wah-wah guitar, but-no, we are instead plunged into a sonic soup of sound. For a while , this totally glisses out ( Daevid Allen in stasis sort of thing),before focusing into a muddle of ethnic noodling (kinda Deuter and Stephan Micus in loops) and then onto dark gothic sounds reminiscent of Sema. But, 34 minutes in, itīs all change as we move unexpectedly to Negativland territory with a bizarrely edited childrenīs story. This four minute " Farmer Jones " segment is totally out of place really, and would (I feel) have been better placed at the end as a joke coda. After this, we can treat the next 32 minutes ( of the final 35) as the 3rd track really, starting as a slowly growing, oozing synth-organ cross-modulating drone, feeling like an over long introduction to an early Heldon number. Without warning, this is then intejected with some dialogue between a policeman and someone wanting to meditate in a field ( strange! ), whilst the background electronics transmute into a collage of sound effect, and in turn this eventually leads to the most musical part of the album, with sequencers and a bizarrely drunken guitar solo. And, what of the final 3 minutes? Silence, except for a brief snippet of text at the end. An odd disc through and through!
Far more user-friendly, CREVICE 2 ( Uncle Buzz UBR04 ) has seven tracks (though no real track titles) and full musician details which let us in on Crevice Being a 7 piece band, five of them multi-instumentalists, with a sax player and a person on live video! Whether this is is the same entourage heard on the previous CD or not, is anyoneīs guess. Though, if so, probably my assumption of things being borrowed so extensively could be wrong, even though one musician admits to playing a turntable. In all, this is a very different beast to their debut. This is obvious from the start, with the opening track purely credited as "Produced by Checkers & Allen" - whatever that means - which is the closest Iīve heard anyone come to early Heldon, very much like FLUENCE from "Allez Teia", with beautifully fuzzed guitar and oozing electronics. This feel, with looping guitars and bubbling electronics pretty much dominates most of the album, with track 2 going a little more industrial, and track 3 being more avant-garde with a strange melange of radio babble topped by ethereal vocals. Track 4, with violin against synth arpeggios, is very much Peter Frohmader and Stephan Manus territory ( very close to their early 80īs work together) though, at the end, in comes another out-of-place inset: an off-key 60īs MOR Mamas & Papaīs type thingy (probably for Esquivel fans- cheesy or what?!), with tongue-in-cheek monologue and some off-beat mixing. The three final numbers offer different variations on all heard before this, and trip out a little more too, with some stunning guitar noodling, fuzzed to excess. All pretty dark, yet also melodic, a balance thatīs rare these days.
My only real criticism with this second CD is, in that most of it is live, the dynamics and mix are all a bit muddled, and it would have been a better album if some time had been taken to enhance and reconstruct it in the studio. Undoubtedly they are one of the best bands from Texas at the moment, especially when you compare their "Lost Planet"-a dark Fripp & Eno cum Camera Obscura type excursion - on the Uncle Buzz sampler ACID RANCH 2000 (Uncle Buzz UBR05), credited as a "Psychedelexperimental Compilation", as most of the rest of the CD is very mediocre (excepting tracks by Paisley Babylon and Bubbaīs Space Station) and Crevice shine out brightly. A Crevice 3 could be wonderful. Letīs hope so!
CROHINGA WELL review of CREVICE 1
This is a bizarre one, believe me. Crevice is not really a band but a recording project formed by Bryan Manilow, Jeff Worm, and Pink Phil. The three of them were all working (more or less) in the same local head shop in San Antonio. Since most customers would come in stoned they decided to subject them to music and sounds of their own. It took them one hundred and fifteen different instruments and endless hours at the mixing desk to create one 67-minute track, now available on CD through the joint efforts of two avant-garde CD labels of the weird variety: Even I Have Seizures (first release) and Uncle Buzz Records (second outing). Two of the groupīs members do outside soudtrack projects, so it comes as no surprise that "Crevice" is one long acid soundscape, a very weird trip like a kind of Current 93 meets Red Krayola, with a little "Lumpy Gravy" mixed in for good taste. Itīs useless trying to describe this jungle of samples and eerie sounds, itīs something you have to "experience" for yourself. After all Crevice doesnīt want to drive listeners mad, they just want to take your brains out to play for a while. Do you dare let them?