Thunder Echo Ensemble
Reviews of Cosmonaut
Thanks to everyone who has sent in a review of the CD from Jay and the Ensemble.
"Weird, but good." -- Eddie Ruff and his wife.
This listener liked it so much, he responded in verse:
"It makes me want to dance in the Baker desert and sing tribal awakenings!
Waft fast the Murphy beat, Ash and J with Haskin complete,
Slip now the great worm, into acquiescent patterns a commonality
Mortgage, wife, 1.5 kids
Phase through previous incarnations,
Using nothing but your own mental TARDIS,
Think back and forward admin, scholar, artist,
Which realm, your heart is farthest?"
"Jay and the Thunder Echo Ensemble explore variations on a theme in Cosmonaut. And that exploration comes off as decidedly Philip Glass-like and I like that. I enjoyed listening to the subtle permutations and seeing how just one small change can affect the whole piece. And the common theme is technology. Jay has a love/hate relationship with technology. He loves the gadgetry of technology and it power, but he is also wary of its dangers and how it can destroy us. The Promethean influences are apparent in this music. TEE also uses space as a specific expression of the technological themes, from the cover, with its stranded Cosmonaut, to the cinematic tracks like Astro, where the lost explorer is saved by a "space whale". Getting into outer space is the ultimate technological achievement, but it is, in the end, an unexplainable natural force that saves our Cosmonaut from a death of isolated meaninglessness.
And then there's the violence. Jay's art has long addressed violence, animal violence, and human violence. And Cosmonaut addresses the futility of violence head on. In fact the CD begins and ends with this theme. The first track, Cry Havoc!, presents the passionate cry for vengeance and war, and the last track, Another Deadly Day, displays the inevitable degrading and damaging nature of war. Once the dogs of war are released, they quite often turn and bite their masters. So the lonely, technological journey of the Cosmonaut is set against a background of political and physical violence which makes his explorations of inner and outer space all the more harrowing.
Oh, and of course the music is the same great music that I've come to expect from Jay Larsen and his Thunder Echo Ensemble."
-- Steve Gabbitas
"Are you ever going to stop that racket and come to bed?" -- Jay's Wife, Evelyn
Write a Review of Cosmonaut
The new album by The Thunder Echo Ensemble, available March 2004
"A space-age cinematic blend of electronica, psychodelia and pop" -- Spun
Featuring the hit single, Cry Havoc!
Available on WhatDoWeKnow Records
Listen to Cosmonaut
Who Are the Thunder Echo Ensemble? - Band Bio
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