Something must be going right. Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison and singer, song writer, and multi-instrumentalist O5Ric have teamed up again. Prepare for more rhythmic and harmonic possibilities and curiosities from these to avant garde experimentalists on The Man Who Sold Himself.
Just a small heads up: you'll need several listens to get your interest piqued at, and then to digest this volume. But you probably already knew this. This duo are musical contortionists. They blend rock, jazz, and other invisible and preposterous styles in between to create their musical landscape. However, I don't think the odd one here is Harrison. He's a drumming prodigy, yes, allowing for the conceptual to merge with abstract with ease, while still being a classic percussionist. No, 05Ric is all over the place, especially with his quirky synth and sample fondling. Only his bass work seems both assured and representative of creativity equal to the project. I find his vocals bearable.
But, that's thing about this collaboration. Harrison and 05Ric are long on creativity and innovation but short an accessibility. Their compositions seem to depend as much on improvisation as structure. Conversely, there's an unassuming and mystical harmony that collects all things in every song into a surpising wholeness.
All this makes me wonder what I should be listening to or for. Harrison's drums and 05Ric eclectic multifunctional abilities. It seems, at times, that Harrison's genius takes a back seat to the latter. Nevertheless, The Man Who Sold Himself is a deeply challenging, and eventually entertaining, album, after several spins, of course. Not for the timid, but recommended.