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Cul de Sac / Damo Suzuki
Abhayamudra
SAAH2728 2xCD
Released: November 2, 2004
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Disc One: Beograd 1 - Halle 2 - Baltimore 5 - Berlin 4 - Frankfurt 4
Disc Two:
Beograd 6 - Cambridge 1 - Berlin 6 - Kopenhagen 3 - Berlin 3 - Zagreb 3

"We had to learn to be FEARLESS, to be willing to make mistakes, to play beyond what we thought were our own abilities." - Glenn Jones/Cul de Sac, on playing with Damo Suzuki; Dream Magazine #4 interview

Boston's instrumental innovators Cul de Sac teamed up with infamous ex-Can vocalist Damo Suzuki for a tour of the US and Europe in 2002 and 2003, respectively. A pairing for the ages to be sure, for very few bands other than Cul de Sac operate in the same heady and rhythmic sphere as Can did - they are a perfect modern-day backdrop for Suzuki's free-associating vocal approach. However brilliant and almost obvious a pairing it is, there wasn't much forethought. Having never met each other, Cul de Sac received an email from Suzuki totally out of the blue, suggesting they collaborate. How did this come about? Seems that a perceptive fan had slipped a copy of Cul de Sac's second album, the ubiquitous I Don't Want to Go to Bed, to him at a show. It only took a few months for Suzuki to listen to it (!!!), but one day as he was cleaning his apartment he popped it on - and promptly sent the band a request that they tour the US together.

The one caveat: no rehearsing.

Four hours after Suzuki stepped off the plane in Boston, he and Cul de Sac played their first show before an enraptured crowd at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA. Everything clicked. "Instant composing" is Suzuki's terminology for his philosophy of penning songs (not "jamming" or wanking by any stretch of the imagination) on the spot, on stage, allowing chemistry and energy to dictate the creation of the music and the path it will follow. For Suzuki, nothing is planned in advance. In keeping with Suzuki's spirit, Cul de Sac allowed the process to flow without rehearsing any new tunes of their own, or playing anything from their repertoire.

The results are nothing short of astounding.

Abhayamudra is a 2xCD collection of what Cul de Sac and Damo Suzuki consider to be the best moments of the 45 dates they played together - nearly 138 minutes of stunning psychedelic avant mayhem, performed live and composed entirely on the spot. Cul de Sac refract clusters of electronics, sorrowful violin and genre-defying surf/middle eastern guitar over chugging bass and astounding polyrhythms, while Suzuki concocts his vocal somersaults over the affair, manipulating the direction of the tunes like it was liquid in a vessel. Abhaymudra immortalizes some very special moments captured on stage, a musical genesis that, by its very nature, could only be conceived at its particular moment in time and can never be replicated.

***
Visit the Damo Suzuki official website for info on his "Never Ending Tour", discography, biography etc
Visit the Cul de Sac official website for discography, biography, press quotes etc
Press: The Wire, All Music Guide, Fac193, PlanB, Harvard Independent, Splendid Ezine. Foxy Digitalis, Brainwashed, Pitchforkmedia, Ptolemaic Terrascope, Jambase
See a clip of Cul de Sac and Damo Suzuki performing live May 4, 2002 at the WFMU Record Fair!!!
MP3: "Berlin 6"
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