You Are Here
Guitarist Steve Khan and avant-keyboardist Rob Mounsey (the brilliant Flying Monkey Orchestra) team up for You Are Here (Siam Records SMD-5004; 73:59), a somewhat impressionistic record bringing together multi-cultural rhythmic and melodic colors into an intriguing universal mix. Detail, texture and mood win out over melody here, but prove more than enough to seduce the listener. "Platanos Maduros" is a sonic banquet—bouncing with Cuban percussion under a cool, muted tapestry of keyboards and guitars that pop off the speakers, and "Still Life With Mockingbird" is virtually tempo-less, moving in ethereal waves and brushed with acoustic guitar like a tone-painting. Other highlights include "Peanut Soup," which features the unique contrast of Marc Quinones' dark African percussion with an offbeat melody recalling the American west, and "Pallbearers," a disarmingly meditative tune spotlighting haunted bass. It's easy to get lost in the duo's unique musical tapestries, which though experimental and offbeat, are built on familiar foundations.