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It's Finally Out! Grex: Electric Ghost Parade


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Hey, all-

Not so much jazz as "jazz adjacent", but I'm deeply excited about this and wish to share--after several years of blood, sweat, and the other things, my project Grex has released its brand new album, entitled Electric Ghost ParadeI've never worked on anything as hard as I've worked on this record, so if you have the time and ears, this is the one. 

It's an unpredictable but incendiary and exhilarating paean to the epic psychedelic albums of the 1960's, traversing the cutting edge of modern indie rock, noise, and free jazz. It summarizes lessons I've learned from the likes of (former teachers) Fred Frith and Roscoe Mitchell, and it captures, I think, a lot of the character of the Bay Area avant rock scene as it's existed in the past decade. 

You can purchase the album, and listen to a few choice tracks, here: https://grex.bandcamp.com/album/electric-ghost-parade


Some early reviews: 

“Grex strikes an interesting balance between the exploratory tendencies of psychedelic rock and free jazz with a more modern indie-pop sensibility.” - The Los Angeles Beat (Ted Kane) 

“a wide-ranging and excitingly unpredictable sound” - The Bay Bridged (Ben Van Houten) 

“I haven’t heard such varying psych sounds in more recent times since The Fiery Furnaces went their separate ways some nine years ago. An excellent release.” - Echoes and Dust (Ljubinko Zivkovic)

“Coming from a free-jazz, improvisational background, creating spontaneous art was Evangelista's general methodology with Grex…The resulting songs are dynamic and at times quirky and jubilant, like something Bay Area avant-pop band Deerhoof might play.” - East Bay Express (Aaron Carnes) 

“these Bay Area brainiacs trip out on a chilled-out yet complex attack of math-rock heroics, free-improvisational freak-outs, and psych-rock weirdness as they channel Henry Kaiser and Hendrix.” - The Brooklyn Rail (Brad Cohan)

“It’s a sardonically noisy psychedelic rock record with a little free jazz thrown in to keep you guessing. And it’s an awful lot of fun.” - New York Music Daily (Alan Young) 


Here's a video of our two piece in action:


You can hear more about us here: http://www.grexsounds.com 

More music here: http://grex.bandcamp.com

And we're on Spotify and Tidal, if that suits your fancy.

Thanks for listening, folks! 

Edited by ep1str0phy
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Forgot to add--I was a guest on Mike Watt's podcast a couple of weeks back. The audio (intimidatingly) starts with Miles/Coltrane, which I found hilarious but at least tonally appropriate. We talk about our musical origins, the design of the band, and some misremembered (on my part) pieces of the West Coast jazz legacy. Mike is of course the bassist/co-founder of the Minutemen, but he's worked with a large volume of wonderful improvisers, and his musical literacy is nuts. 

Here: The Watt from Pedro Show, On-Air Guest Karl Evangelista

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21 hours ago, king ubu said:

ordering ... and throwing in a couple of earlier physical releases - wanted to check out your music for a long time, if only based on the often thought-provoking posts of yours! :tup 

Right on, sir! It's deeply appreciated--that back catalog stuff is some of the deeper cut material (the album with Francis Wong is very old, but I'm very proud of everyone's contributions on there). Hope you enjoy! 

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1 hour ago, ep1str0phy said:

Right on, sir! It's deeply appreciated--that back catalog stuff is some of the deeper cut material (the album with Francis Wong is very old, but I'm very proud of everyone's contributions on there). Hope you enjoy! 

Skipped the EP twofer disc for custom/taxes/fees reasons only ... but looking forward to checking out your music!

To me, it still makes a huge difference if I'm listening a cut or two on youtube or bandcamp to listening an album on the (very modest) home set.

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One more re-up, if you'll please indulge me! A couple more reviews in:

"Evangelista wields a swell grouchy guitar tone, Scampavia’s pipes are sweet, and when they freak out, they freak out good." - The Vinyl District (Joseph Neff)

"...as far as quirky, avant-garde original music goes, I give them loads of credit for putting together something this far out and miles removed from anything commercial sounding. Go in with an open mind and see what you think." - Sea of Tranquility (Pete Pardo)

Apropos of all that, here's one more video. This piece has evolved over the course of several albums, dedicated to our pet rats. It's weird, but it's our earnest (though irony-conscious) attempt at connecting the extremes of pointillistic improv and flashy skronkism: 


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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Are you guys strictly a duo now?

Yes and no--the touring iteration is a duo, since the Skeleton Crew-y two kick drum formation made a kind of aesthetic sense. It's more idiosyncratic, though it suits the performance needs of this repertoire well. 

We're trio or larger for special projects. Drummer Robert Lopez is on the most recent record, and the great LA trumpeter Dan Clucas joined for our iteration of A Love Supreme. I'm of the mind that the studio, at least insofar as concerns this stylistically liminal music, is a different enough animal that all bets are off in the way of instrumentation and arrangement. 

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