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Published: 2001/05/21
by Stefan Low

self-titled – Liquifyed – review by

I have yet to see Liquifyed perform live, so I have no opinion on their improvisational gifts
in the live setting. However, I can tell you that, judging from this CD, they are an incredibly
tight, sleek, polished disco-jazz outfit looking to boogie you down with
funky instrumental grooves.
Liquifyed lays down chunky guitar rhythms and slinky saxophone over
drummer Ed Gross’s rock-solid foundation. Disco, to work, needs smooth. Ed
has smooth. I might go so far as to say smoove even. He’s totally smoove,
and that’s a good thing here. Laying the foundation right along with him is
bassist Mark Fu Shin, solid and toneful, and percussionist Mike Barsky.
While, most often, guitarist Brian Dickerson is laying down the classic
chink-a-chink chops the disco fever demands, he steps out nicely on a few
occasions with smooth (that word again) schooled leadwork and just the right
amount of fuzz. Chris Faison’s sax dominates the recording, handling the
melody work and really finishing out the sound of the band.
The first cut, Get Up!, appropriately gets up and grabs your
attention, asks for spare change, then invites you across the street to a
cocktail lounge. It’s a nice lounge, and the people are dancing. It’s a good
thing, because you do stay in the same lounge for pretty much the whole CD.
Aside from Brian Dickerson’s guitar solo in the third track, Fumpin,
little on the recording deviates from a safe, middle-road intensity. Certain
saxophone sections of Charlie B’s even hover dangerously close to the bland,
threatening our entire lounge with a round of poorly-made Harvey
Wallbangers, but the nice percussion work from Mike Barsky lofts the tune
back into safer ground and more suitable refreshment.
For a demo, this is an excellent recording, and highlights Liquifyed’s
high-energy disco-jazz very well. The musicianship is excellent, the
arrangements sharp and tight. If there is more depth and variety to
Liquifyed’s sound, perhaps a full-length recording would demonstrate that.
This CD, while technically sound and musically precise, lacks dynamic
variety. The band has one speed. Perhaps they extend their arrangements live
and really cut loose — I can’t tell from this CD. So I say again: I need to
see these guys live and this disc makes me want to do so.

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