Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Points Of Departure

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Don’t believe everything you read. Case in point: Birmingham, Ala., prog-electronica trio Lunasect, described on allmusic.com as purveying “meditation, ethnic fusion” music yet, confusingly, is then likened to power-pop pioneer Big Star, contempo jazzbo David Benoit, psychedelic legend Syd Barrett and assorted New Age wingnuts. A more rigorous examination of the Lunasect sound suggests the late, great trip-hoppers One Dove (Jessica Grant winningly channels Dove vocalist Dot Allison’s spookysexycool aura), techno-poppers Curve, or possibly an earthier, less indulgent Tori Amos fronting Crystal Method or Dirty Vegas. Yet to avoid, no doubt, being pegged strictly as a club-floor combo, Lunasect one minute bears down on rhythmically compelling, hypnotic, Peter Gabriel-plays-space rock (“Living/ Dreaming”; “Goodnight Satellite”), then turns around to erect vertiginous walls of shoe-gazey sound (“Permanent Damage”; “Zero”). No doubt the intention of Grant’s multi-instrumentalist band mates — Daniel Farris and Jonathan Hyatt, also of dance outfit Moonbuggy — was to thwart all us armchair pigeonholers, for the group seems to revel in its disruptive hybridism. (Tellingly, Lunasect’s on a label that includes DJs and, um, twisted comedian Emo Phillips on its roster.) For every foray into synth-heavy, loop-strewn little fluffy clouds, there’s a corresponding passage marked by strafing/ fuzz guitar, heaving bass and propulsive drums. That just makes Lunasect, in the final estimation, a rock ’n’ roll band, never mind the ad hoc labels.

Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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