Unboxing Music: Black Music Disaster – S/T (2012)

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The Internet is chock full of “Unboxing” videos, the so-called “new geek porn.” I don’t find them particularly interesting but that’s because I’m fairly certain I’m not part of their target audience. Don’t take it personally guys. Tech products just aren’t my thing. On the other hand, I do like the idea of a “live review,” which is the direction that many unboxing videos tend to take.

This led to the idea of writing live reviews of newly-released music: initial thoughts on the music as it’s given its first listen, shortly after ripping open the padded mailer envelope. There will be no video content (because I have a face made for the anonymity of the Web), just some information gleaned from the CD liner notes and/or the publicity sheet, and then the first impressions.

So here we go: Unboxing Music: Black Music Disaster – S/T

Black Music Disaster

  • Matthew Shipp – farfisa organ
  • J. Spaceman – electric guitar
  • Steve Noble – drums
  • John Coxon – electric guitar

Release Date: June 6, 2012

Shipp is obviously a household name in the jazz world. With J. Spaceman and John Coxon on board, I figured this was going to be a full-on Shipp/Spiritualized collision. What makes me lean toward something far more “out” is that fact that this is Mr. Shipp on farfisa organ, not piano. Also Coxon has the Spring Heel Jack association. Hmmm.


The single instrumental track, clocking in at slightly over 38 minutes, starts off disturbingly and aggressively with what sounds like Sun Ra trying to conjugate the vibe and pulse of Space Invaders-era arcade games. Despite the presence of two guitars, it is the organ and percussion that take up most of the space, with Spaceman and Coxon tossing in everything from delicate chiming tones to snarling knots of tension. Even at its most chaotic, the music manages to lock into a kind of lopsided groove. Phew! I guarantee you that TheWife™ is glad I’m listening with the earbuds.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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