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Che Guevara Memorial Marching (and Stationary) Accordion Band - s/t
CD-R (San Francisco, CA)



-dance
-march
-meditation
-tender (loin) suite




Bob Marsh, Dan Cantrell, David Slusser, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, John Finkbeiner, Ron Heglin

Reviews:
(Touching Extremes 7/2005) The formula - an accordion sextet - is quite simple but taking a look at the names of these improvisers (Bob Marsh, Dan Cantrell, David Slusser, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, John Finkbeiner, Ron Heglin) one already knows we're in for lots of unconventional techniques, no-boundary excursions and dissonance a go-go. Although a mass of accordion clusters can become seriously oppressive for unqualified listeners, this armada mysteriously finds a way to escape the hammers of boredom through a systematic combination of slight distress and levity which raises the music level up a few notches. The fractured structure of the pieces - particularly the "Tender (Loin) suite" - does the rest, allowing the Che Guevarians to affirm their absolutely independent-minded aesthetic, counterpointed by an idealistic stance transpiring from every single moment of the disc; but if you expected something like Lars Hollmer's fairy tales or Guy Klucevsek's recent romanticisms, you've ventured yourself in a dangerous place. - Massimo Ricci

(Ampersand Etcetera 7/2005) Bob Marsh, Dan Cantrell, David Slusser, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, John Finkbeiner and Ron Heglin (some names familiar to me) let loose with, as the title implies, accordions. But this is not the beer hall or the local dance. These are improvisers who enjoy extracting whatever sounds they can from instruments. So there is a percussive clatter (rather like typewriters), fragments of melody, breathy chords, bellowed wails, atonal competitions. The first three tracks are shorter and more focussed - Dance is like an explosion in the accordion factory, March waves of co-ordinated sound and Meditation more lyrical with some voice and longer tones leading to a dense climax. The Tender (loin) suite moves through the moods and range of possibilities, creating organ-like chords and more delicate passages as well as intense drama. The instrument provides a satisfying (and complex) sound palette which this mob uses cleverly to create an improv album that comes from an interestingly different perspective. - Jeremy Keens

(Vital Weekly no. 477) On the format of CDRs the other new release is by the excellently named The Che Guevara Memorial Marching (And Stationary) Accordion Band, which is what is says: a band of people playing accordions. The band consists of Bob Marsh, Dan Cantrell, David Slusser, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, John Finkbeiner and Ron Heglin. Despite the politically inclined band name, the music doesn't sound like political marching hymns, but it's rather a very free improvisation in four parts on six accordions. Not easy stuff either, even when it sometimes sounds a bit drone like, but overall it's pretty hectic, chaotic and above all dense. Uneasy music, me thinks. - Franz de Waard

(Aiding & Abetting no. 264) Just about what it sounds like, as long as you know the members of the "band" are Bob Marsh, San Cantrell, David Slusser, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, John Finkbeiner and Ron Heglin. There are a lot of accordions (and a few other things) doing some seriously weird stuff. I got lost a few times, but man, this album is compelling. -Jon Worley

(Dream no. 6) Accordions are stretched and pulled by irrational gravitational forces. This all accordion sextet includes: Bob Marsh, Dan Cantrell, David Slusser, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, John Finkbeiner, and Ron Heglin. Their name suits them only in the sense that Che is dead; for these songs march as only ghosts could. This feels mostly free form, but they are all playing together in rippling waves and tremulous clusters of notes, that rise and fall like a small series of storms at sea. - George Parsons

(Neozine) When I hear the word “accordion” I think “Weird Al Yankovic.” In this case, I’d like for you to just think “weird.” There are 6 people mentioned on the cover: Bob Marsh, Dan Cantrell, David Slusser, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, John Finkbeiner, and Ron Heglin. There are 4 tracks, the shortest fewer than 5 minuets and the longest over 24 minuets. The name of the band seems kind of silly. I wish I had a little more information as top why they chose that moniker. The overall sound that is produced on this album isn’t really silly at all. Of course the accordion is a misunderstood instrument. These guys do little to help us understand. I comprehend it less and less as I listen. Yes, this is an experimental work. The sounds can be quite minimal and random. They kind of work their way out of nothingness and live their short musical lives in the company of other little pipings blinking in and out of quirky existence. Improvisation works funny kinds of magic. Do you think that it can work with an accordion. These people proved the case. Hopefully they can gain some kind of acceptance from friendly open-minded listeners. I’m probably going to have to listen to this at least 10 times to appropriately digest the entire creative buffet of unlikely artistry.- C.H.C.

(Dead Angel) Yes, Virginia... that really is the sound of an accordion sextet, an idea so frightening it fairly makes the mind reel, doesn't it? Fortunately, the boxes being squeezed on this disc are in the hands of sonic jesters Bob Marsh, Dan Cantrell, David Slusser, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, John Finkbeiner, and Ron Heglin, so you know it's probably not going to sound like your traditional polka party... and it doesn't, not even remotely. They spend the first fifteen minutes of the disc, on "Dance," "March," and "Meditation," improvising as a sextet with a surprisingly traditional sound (well, most of the time, anyway), but the rest of the album is devoted to stretching out over the lengthy (24:39) "Tender (Loin) Suite," during which their experimental natures become considerably more evident. The result is an album that's actually one of the more accessible releases in Public Eyesore's vastly eclectic (and often "difficult") catalog, one whose sound is far less ridiculous than the initial idea. It would be amusing to know just how many of the participants had actually played accordion extensively before recording this, but since the album is less about technique than the exploration of sound via unorthodox instruments, it doesn't matter anyway. Bonus points for the amusing name, which appears to have absolutely nothing to do with anything, but boy howdy it sure does sound real purty, doesn't it? - RKF


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