The Motet - Instrumental Dissent
The Motet - Instrumental Dissent
(CD) CageFree Records, 2006-09-12
01. Afro Disco Beat | MP3
02. Johnny Just Drop | MP3
03. Anew | MP3
04. Instrumental Dissent
06. Music Is The Weapon
07. Slice Of Humanity
08. La Lucha
10. What Have We Done?
11. Old Orchard
Press release :
This Is Not Your Mama's Motet
Fresh off the presses and just now hitting stores, the Motet is back on the road in support of their landmark studio release, Instrumental Dissent. With dates traversing their home state of Colorado in support of the release, the word is out, and there is no denying that this ain't your mama's Motet.
It can't be easy being The Motet, the eight-year old Boulder, Colo., groove unit founded by drummer Dave Watts, where the M.O. appears to be not just making excellent, propulsive, rhythm-driven music that fans can't resist moving to, but also keeping up with musical trends and incorporating new styles and moods.
Somehow, the ensemble succeeds.
At least it does on its latest effort, "Instrumental Dissent," fresh off the presses and just now hitting stores. Yes, the new album is full of multi-layered jigsaw puzzles of beats and sounds, and yes, it infiltrates the mind to the point where you can't sit still, but it also ventures into realms heretofore unexplored by The Motet (at least in the studio) while putting forth a relaxed, confident, chilled vibe that speaks of maturity and evolution.
The difference is noticeable from the first moments of the disc. "Afro Dance Beat" opens with a gradual crescendo, but instead of erupting into an all-out percussion frenzy, it maintains a steady pulse that does indeed bear a resemblance to the Afro pop that has been sweeping the world. The groove continues for more than three minutes, when a decidedly urbane sax solo by the very fine Dominic Lalli marks a shift in the mood and electronic club beats are layered over the original foundation.
"Anew" is downright ambient, as clean and cool as a sci-fi utopia, with long-time Motet keyboardist Adam Revell pinging out a catchy little ditty over a breezey guitar-bass-drums figure, and the resonant voice of Nigerian literary Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka sampled to add the stamp of 21st-century sophistication and consciousness.
"Blowback" is similarly sedate, though there's a roiling under- current that provides intensity, and "Old Orchard," the closer, is, as the title suggest, a burnished stroll in an idyllic landscape.
This is not to say Watts and friends have lost their fire. Not at all. In fact, the rest of the 11 tracks are as hopped up as ever. They include a ska-infused polemic ("Music is the Weapon," intro- duced by a sampled quote from Harry Belafonte), a short Afro-percussion interlude ("Slice of Humanity") and a spicy salsa number ("La Lucha"), as well as the usual furiously funky numbers Motet fans have come to expect.
Richard Anderson - Planet Jackson Hole
With the release of their new album, "Instrumental Dissent," The Motet is ready for its latest transformation.
"Instrumental Dissent" reflects much of the band's new, electronically textured explorations while still driving home hard hitting, percussive dance grooves. The album touches on many of the band's influences, from afro-beat to salsa, in addition to delving into new realms of house, break-beat, and down-tempo. "Instrumental Dissent" is a hypnotic creation which will have old Motet fans excited by the new direction of the band, and new fans captivated by the group's deliciously trancy throw down.
"This album is exciting for me because we're digging into new territory," said Motet founder, Dave Watts.
"Instrumental Dissent" demonstrates The Motet's ever-evolving sound with it's innovative use of electronica, house, and trance, layered within a jazz format. The album also includes vocal samples rooted in activism and non-violence, with the words of such outspoken social commentators as Noam Chomsky, Harry Belafonte, and others.
"We've included these voices because we feel that as musicians we have a responsibility to promote positive change. Social change is as important as musical change, and it's sometimes difficult for an instrumental band to bring that message" said Watts.
By allowing the music to tell their story and the dance beats to enrapture audiences, The Motet's new album is a record to be reckoned with.
Using the rich musical landscape of Boulder, Colorado as their muse, The Motet has mastered the delicate task of constantly reinventing their sound while staying true to their various roots. Founded in 1998 by Dave Watts, The Motet has become one of the best improvisational bands touring today. Their ability to seamlessly fuse elements of afro-beat, afro-cuban drumming, funk, latin, and jazz has led to a sound that defies categorization.
"Our tendency to avoid being pigeon-holed is a reflection of who we are as musicians," said Watts. "We try to be open-minded about how we approach different genres and traditions."
After switching members throughout the past eight years, The Motet has now maintained the same lineup for over a year. The group consists of drummer Dave Watts, percussionist Scott Messersmith, guitarist Ryan Jalbert, bassist Garrett Sayers, keyboardist Adam Revell, and saxophonist Dominic Lalli.
Now that the revolving door of musicians that formerly defined The Motet has slowed down, each member is assisting with the creative process - allowing an even deeper perspective to come through their music.
"I wrote and/or arranged just about all of the material on the new album, but now that the rest of the group is participating in song-writing, it's really becoming an exciting endeavor," said Watts. "I'm looking forward to a new era."
The Motet is a world-class ensemble that whips audiences into a whirling frenzy using sheer impromptu force. With their spontaneous and textured rhythms and hard-driving beats, the band creates a repertoire between themselves and the audiences that is rarely seen in today's manufactured rock. The Motet consecrates the ground on which dance music meets free-form improvisation, allowing a diverse audience to become immersed in their eclectic sound.
Because transformation is clearly inevitable when it comes to The Motet, past performances and albums are not necessarily indicative of the present. Therefore, picking up the new album and seeing the band live guarantees a new musical experience. The Motet will be taking the West Coast by storm this summer in support of "Instrumental Dissent." Check them out in July, August and September as they make stops in California, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado and Alaska.