Stick Men + – Midori Album Review

In the mad rush to the digital age, one thing that has gotten almost entirely lost is the anticipation of new release music. Days of past reveal that almost indescribable desire for new music from a favourite band or artist. With zeros and ones almost completely trumping the act of driving to and waiting for the physical manifestation of new work, too many new and great albums get lost in the shuffle.

A resent wait for a CD copy of Stick Men + was a case in point. Being a huge King Crimson fan, the appetite was already piqued by the impressive line up of Crimson alumni that make up the band. Every day the walk to the post box was a long one until that bundle of bubble wrapped goodness arrived.

The band, Tony Levin (the mighty Crim, Peter Gabriel and too many more to mention), Pat Mastelotto (K.C., Mr. Mister), Markus Reuter (centrozoon, Tuner) and guest David Cross (K. C., Radius) have a unique instrumental make up and sound. Levin plays the stick (a string instrument where the strings are touched – not plucked) Reuter, a touch guitar and keys, Cross, a violin and keys and Mastelotto, all things percussive. Together they stretch out over two discs and indulge in all manner of tone poems, songs and sonic sketches. They even tackle the odd Crimson tune or two.

The music contained in those two live discs was sublime (being both beautiful and challenging) and the wait for its arrival only made the initial experience that much sweeter. With the recent revival of a medium that never really went away, the vinyl record, it seems there are people that still want something physical to have and hold while listening to music. Thank goodness for that!

Rob Hudson