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Critters Buggin’: Host

Childhood musical experiences stick with us for life, shaping our perceptions of the world, and what is possible within it. The three bent individuals that make up Critters Buggin’ seem to have spent their formative years in a Sliders-type alternate universe, one where the great racial divide that ruined much of 20th century pop music never existed, where Art Ensemble of Chicago, “The Motor Booty Affair” and Weather Report replaced Yes and Pink Floyd as the adolescent get-stoned music of choice, and child-of-the-’80s critics wax sociopolitical about Bill Laswell and Miles instead of Bruce Springsteen. On Host (Loosegroove, LG 0009-2, 57:29), the critters avoid standard-issue guitar/keyboards textures, building their sound instead around a formidable battery of percussion instruments, saxes, and fat, lumbering basslines. The approach-all improvised-is far from formulaic, however, producing the frenetic rhythmic centers of songs like “Mullet Cut” and the mutated horn bleats of “Sheets.”

Originally Published