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Jet Chamber IV

 Jet Chamber IV - PK 08/137
  Release Date: 16 February 1998
  Limitation: 1000

   Zappel Jazz             19.48
   Clearing Your Head      22.05
   The Third Option        11.57

  all tracks written by Pete Namlook and Atom Heart

I listened to this at my buddy's house just the other day and was really digging both Zappel Jazz and Clearing Your Head. I thought both tracks demonstrated fairly clearly that Namlook and Atom Heart have pretty much mastered the art of"live" or realtime electronic recording, the programming seems to interact with Pete's guitar and vice versa. Plus, both tracks descend at some point to a lovely, quiet passage, and return with great lively reprises. So don't worry! ;)

(review by no@h)

What's up with Jet Chamber 4? I ordered it together with Silence 3 and Octopus 3 from EAR/Rational the other week and was extremely excited when the postman rang last Friday. JC2 and JC3 are two of my favorite FAX releases and so I couldn't wait for the next installment. Well, I've given it repeated listens through speakers and headphones (where JC3 really comes alive IMHO) and........nothing! I haven't been so disappointed since the last track on Ozoona! Where JC3 was tightly played, quirky and interesting, and offered an innovative tack on the whole d&b thing, this seems really flabby to me. I *like* FAX releases that "go nowhere," but this one just doesn't seem to go anywhere *interesting*.

Track 1, Zappel Jazz is OK, but sounds like an out-take from JC3 which has fallen victim to the "Gig in the Sky" virus of Euro-cheez jazz-noodling. It's the sort of stuff I used to try to play on my guitar when I was 17 to try to impress girls (who knew better).

Track 2, Clearing your Head is better, but not stellar. The parts do not flow together as well as some of the longer tracks on JC3, and for a "quiet" JC track I'd much rather listen to "Calm Box."

Track 3, The Third Option. Mmmm. I was expecting something as exciting as "Outer Rotation." Instead, 12 minutes of drones and pulses. Not necessarily bad. I've paid $40 for CDs of drones and pulses before (2350 Broadway, for one), but this one bores me. I keep turning it off before it gets to the end.

Am I missing something here? I know you can't have perfection all the time, especially given the prolific output of the label, but usually with every FAX record I get my hands on there is at least one track that has something about it that transcends the ordinary and makes me think or feel differently about music. I just didn't get that with this one at all.

(review by Andrew Ross)


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