Cheer Accident – A New Ear 22 – Another new album? already? Are they having a bleedin’ giraffe? Now the question is, is this just for the hardboiled Cheer Accident disciples out there or is it something for everyone? Actually if you don’t like Cheer Accident’s “usual” thrilliant take on progressive rock, you may well love these improvised experiments, then again you might not, then again… Well then again, if you have mined into the detail of the never ever predictable Cheer Accident you’ll probably love this just as much as anything they’ve done? Well maybe? Apparently these basement New Year sessions are a tradition over there in their Chicago hangout, go read Thymme’s own explanation further down the page. Hot on the heals of what you might call their latest “proper” album comes this another maybe not quite so “proper” album, which of course if you know Cheer Ax, is as proper as anything and everything they ever do. They maybe the best Progressive Rock band in the world right now in terms of what people think Prog Rock is but there never are anything but properly progressive. And so, just ten days on from the release of the rather vitally excellent Here Comes The Sunset, this, another new Cheer Accident album. A New Ear 2022 is as awkwardly difficult as it gets, experimental progressive drones, well no, never quite just drones, more than that, forward moving instrumental improv jams alive with that detail you know then for, the real art of noise with those Cheer Accident finger prints all over the scene of these basement crimes. Hey, no , no crime here, this is what the Dream Police do when you’re asleep after a New years Eve party. Go explore it, but but but. if you don’t already know this most glorious of bands, then go have a listen to Here Comes The Sunset, as well, just for balance sake and a hint of the full picture, a full picture that you really won’t see until you’ve explore all twenty odd albums they’ve made over the last thirty or so years of none stop progressively challenging goodness. And how good is Pop 22, that’s going to be stuck in my head all day now! (I might have to paint it). Cheer Accident are good for you, go explore their world, it never stops giving… (sw)
Find the album on Bandcamp
“While growing up, New Year’s Eve was always a special time for me: that was the one night of the year that I could count on my parents and both of my sisters to be gone until at least 2:00 in the morning, which meant, for my ever-growing sense of youthful anticipation, the opportunity to partake in the exquisite coupling of creative solitude with energizing externalities, myriad and insistent. (As the sounds of celebratory human ruckus at Times Square blared from the television, I would “make stuff up” on the piano in the adjacent room.) On one of these yearly occasions, I decided to invite my pals, Mike Greenlees and Jim Drummond, into my ritual. Mike brought his drums, Jim brought his stream of consciousness, and, suddenly (though we didn’t know it at the time), CHEER-ACCIDENT was born. (“Literally in the opening seconds of 1981…” so the mythology goes.) As somebody may have once said, “never let an origin story go to waste,” and so, fast forwarding several decades into the future, you’ll find us, once again, engaging in this perennial brainstorming session, this time in the form of neighborhood improv gatherings. (Fortunately, here in Chicago, you can throw a rock and hit somebody who knows what to do with sound in a spontaneous way, and many of these people live in rock-throwing proximity to our beloved CheerAx Basement.) When we restarted this tradition in 2015, I would unfailingly spend a fair bit of time in the first few weeks of the year, mixing select moments of improvisatory wonder, thinking that surely some of it would turn up on an album someday. Well, given that that’s still yet to happen, I decided to (in a timely manner) whittle 2022’s three-and-a half-hour session into a Bandcamp-exclusive album. Rather than having to wait for some nebulous time in the future for it to see the light of day, y’ll have access to it… right now.
This is the first of its kind. Hopefully in a series.
From a mixing standpoint, I wanted to approach this material with the same degree of whimsy and wrongness that permeated the original event. The aesthetic is anti-purist from both directions: ya don’t get a “genuine” document of an actual occurrence, nor do ya get the benefit of an ideal recording setup, where every instrument can luxuriate in their respective isolation. It’s the worst of both worlds! Since I was one of the improvisers in the original performance, I decided to carry that sense of adventure into the mixing and editing stages, not being overly concerned with the preciousness of “capturing” something sacred, but allowing myself the freedom to shoot out in whatever direction the current sonic landscape suggested.
Having said that, when I listen to the end result, it’s clear that the personalities of the people involved, and the atmosphere of the event, continue to shine through. In other words, the “after the fact” liberties taken (and there were many) serve as more of an extrapolation than a negation”.
And, just in case you haven’t yet – ORGAN THING: Cheer Accident’s new album – oh look, if you already know then you know, if you don’t then you really should. Here Comes The Sunset cranks up the prog and a whole lot more (again)
And seeing as today is Bandcamp Friday, (if you’re reading this on the day it was posted) we do have a Bandcamp page, well I do, a painterly page but you might well find some old Organ goodies there.. “I did just put up Bandcamp page with some of the 43 CD paintings and an old Organ magazine or two, expect a few bits of art and such from the Organ / ORG Records days…”
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