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Published: 2001/10/19
by Paul Pearson

Spygroovin’ – The Mind Club

self-released

Movie producers get your checkbooks ready for some serious soundtrack music
from Sacramento. The Mind Club's debut CD "Spygroovin'" isn't necessarily a
new concept in jazz/groove music, but it's extremely well crafted. Using a
Pentium III, Sonic Foundry's Acid and Cakewalk's Pro Audio, guitars through
a Line 6 POD, live recorded horns, layered percussion, sampling and ambient
themes inspired by '60s spy movies, this is a CD that fits comfortably in
the background of whatever you happen to be doing.

Procrastination is my middle name, and it took me a long time to get around
to writing this review. During the time I've had the disc, I have literally
listened to it dozens of times from beginning to end, sometimes paying close
attention, others letting it provide the soundtrack to my brain. From the
concept to the final product I can find few flaws anywhere and I believe
this is a highly marketable product. Besides that, it grooves and catches
you. The songs are well-named and gel together in style, substance and
length. Despite the seemingly simple electronic fusion of some live music
and immediately accessible computer technology, this is a serious disc and a
band with serious potential. The nine months it took to create this disc in
founder Greg William's bedroom studio was well worth it. Rather than repeat
the details of the creation process, I refer you to the very nice Electronic
Musician magazine article on the press reviews portion of the band's
website.

There is a soundtrack for everything, including getting busy slow and easy:
Soul Sex Worship fills that void on this disc (if you hadn't been
doing it the whole time). The title track is next, and while I liked
everything on the disc, this one did stick out. Is the sax theme somehow
relates to the "Odd Couple"? It's not really even close to that, and I
don't know if it's intentional or accidental, but it drove me crazy.
The lead-in is a clip from "The Avengers" television series, before the
gain, theme variation, call-response, this time in pairs: guitar and bass,
keys and sax with that theme.

If I have to see one flaw' in the recording, maybe the bass was too thin on
the high end of the solo. Eh, I'm not bitching. The sax is again sweet and
the muted trumpet solo that fades out was more than effective.
Whacked is my favorite track of all. The song has beats, then
trippy jazz piano (Reams) and percussion duet (Mario H. Sebastian), then a
Steve Austin running bass groove, and a clockwork clatter blues piano
segment.

Although I would call this CD more groove than jam. It feels like the same mood as MMW. I'm curious to see whether these guys can pull this off on stage, regardless it would be great bar music. Still, I can hear the improvisational wheels turning, even if they aren't blatantly obvious. If it isn't innovative, it's definitely inspired.

This is a disc the band should be extremely proud of — it is easily one of
the best debut CDs I've been handed to review in three years. Jambands take
heed, movie or even life' soundtracks are a lucrative avenue. Hopefully
these guys will show us the way there. I know I'll be playing this at
setbreak, driving, working. You should buy it and put it in your CD changer.
You won't get sick of it. Maybe it'll be in a movie someday. It should be.

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