The Fragile Fate marks the debut of a trio whose past history belies years of exemplary music-making and a new project teeming with singular ideas. The enigmatically-coined group is made up of no less than Jerry Marotta, who cut his teeth as Peter Gabriel’s go-to drummer from 1977-1986 (in addition to performing with the likes of Indigo Girls, Hall & Oates, Tony Levin, and others), Rupert Greenall, keyboardist for 80s seminal new-wavers The Fixx, and the mysterious guitarist/string-bender Eric “the” Taylor. All three musicians merge their respective sensibilities and prodigious talents into one glorious, cohesive unit, where their distinctive styles float throughout a rich, vibrant mix of errant percussives, arcing synths, and opalescent waves of guitar.
Lilliam Ocean might well be the most unusual, ‘uncharacteristic’ release on Carpe Sonum Novum, in as much as its merging of electronic and acoustic instrumentation would suggest a less overtly artificial demeanor. Thankfully, the trio reveals they are indeed more than the sum of their parts. “Sign Waves” in particular could be any one of a dozen ancient Krautrock heavyhitters, the ghosts of Cluster/Kluster writ large in contrails of vaporous electronics. Conversely, the hushed reverie and Metheny-esque sprawl of the title track harkens back to prog’s hoary pre-80s past lives as the bluster of Windham Hill beckoned, forever blurring boundaries across genres. “Configuration” could almost be a long lost Rain Tree Crow track; in fact, Mssrs. Marotta, Greenall, and Taylor make no bones about their obvious admiration for the likes of Sylvian/Fripp, the echoing tonalities of David Torn’s finer ECM work, the soaring looped Americana of Steve Tibbetts, even the fourth world ethnic forgeries of 90s cult trio Mo Boma, all of which cut a wide swathe across the trio’s blistering, provocative soundscapes.
released December 10, 2015
All tracks written and performed by Rupert Greenall, Jerry Marotta, and Eric "the" Taylor EXCEPT "Rolled Over" and "Configuration" written and performed by Rupert Greenall, Jerry Marotta, Robert Rich, and Eric "the" Taylor.
All tracks mixed by The Fragile Fate, except "Lilliam Ocean" mixed by Nick Jackson at Spacehouse Studios (London), and "The Lost Toy Piano" mixed by Calvin May at Satellite Productions.
Engineered by Calvin May at Satellite Productions.
Additional Engineering by Adam Armstrong and Dylan Shad .
No-nonsense selection of quality ambient/drone tracks, each crafted using unique recipe. Some are pastoral, some are more spacey, plenty of them utilize damaged field recs and warm, organic textures. This field is pretty crowded, but this release stands out for sure. Good for a night listen. Kamil Pastuszek