Chicago_underground_duo-synesthesia_span3
December 2000

Chicago Underground Duo
Synesthesia
Thrill Jockey

Those keyboard-generated timbres define the Underground Duo's Synesthesia, which features just the Underground's core members Mazurek and Taylor. While the CD features some unique soundscapes, and its appeal increases immensely with repeated listens, it's one of the lesser titles in the group's ever-expanding catalog. The Duo's previous CD, 12 Degrees of Freedom, mostly focused on the live, free interplay of Mazurek's cornet and Taylor's busy percussion. Some of that occurs here, as on the first part of the drums and cornet duet "Threads on the Face," but Synesthesia's vibe is more of a studio-composed experiment that relies on overdubs and the layering of Taylor's vibraphones and Mazurek's electronically manipulated cornet and keyboard squiggles to make its bed of sound, which often recalls Miles Davis during the abstract-ambient parts of Get Up With It.

Originally published in December 2000
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