Music News

Quintron

Dissonance trumps exotica when Quintron, New Orleans's favorite ninth-ward inventor and one-man lounge act, further explores the sounds made possible through cheap, modified tube organs. And if that's not enough, the "Amazing Spellcaster" also busts out his drum buddy -- a hand-built device that transforms rhythmic light-exposure patterns into percussion. Otherwise backed by a choir of virtual amphibians (mostly bullfrog samples programmed into a Hammond D), Q keeps it dark, dank and utterly swampy. Think of Lucifer working the bar in a Howard Johnson's. Or John Cage lost in Radio Shack on Halloween. Diminished by occasional canned evil laughter, these curious rehearsal tapes would round out any Quintron completist's collection for the better; there are a few amusing covers ("Stray Cat Strut" and Johnny Mathis's "No Love"), a creepy wedding march ("Bride of Frankenstein") and even a demonstration in "backwards playing," which, unless you're a technophile, might get a little taxing. The album's hypnotic centerpiece, "Frogs," clocks in at close to fifteen minutes but comes as an oddly soothing serenade after all the kitschy thrills and chills.
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John La Briola