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Published: 2002/12/22
by Chris Gardner

Charged Live – Charged

Innerhythmic 013

Charged Live starts dark and stays dark, slathering the canvas with
same limited sonic palette throughout. This six-man improvisation is
largely an experiment in texture. From the bristled fuzz of Bill Laswell's
bass to the jagged scratches of DJ Disk to the other-worldly electric
trumpet of Toshinori Kondo, these sounds abrade. The six tracks, recorded
during engagements in Holland, Germany and Japan, tread and retread the same
muddy, dusky path. It is an interesting path to be sure, swimming the same
seas as Miles Davis' more electrified excursions, but the seeming refusal to
brighten the tone or provide contrast renders the disc static and redundant.

With a drummer, percussionist, and turntablist aboard, Charged Live
is a
decidedly rhythmic affair, but even the rhythms rarely stray from a
mid-tempo churn, excepting "Dueling Sufis", a call and response exercise
between the turntable and the percussionists. The freer sections, often
bookending the song proper, suggest interesting directions but don't
progress. The disc feels trapped, swirling in the same murky waters, never
escaping to open sea.

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