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COPERNICUS NCD 2092
Cipher and Decipher  
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It all happened in the quaint, picturesque surroundings of Hoboken, New Jersey, in November 2008, when Copernicus gathered together a large ensemble of improvising musicians and initiated a series of sonic experiments dedicated to exploring existential immersion (or possibly non-existential immersion).The first wave of that historic marathon studio session led to the release of 2010's "Disappearance" (NCD2091). Now, Copernicus has turned his attention to a second phase of that same recording date -- responding to improvisations that took on a different shape, making yet another twist, exposing still another nature.While continuing to view his entire output as a chronologically-unfolding adventure of discovery -- a documentation of his development, per se -- familiar themes of the subatomic and quantum physics are embraced.As always, the Pierce Turner-led band is always up to the challenge of providing the sonic backdrops for Copernicus, and the band is yet again up to task. While certainly not for the faint of heart, Cipher and Decipher continues the evolution of Copernicus' ideas.
 
 
TRACKSClick on any highlighted track title to listen to individual audio samples, or listen to them all on the player to the right.
 
 
PERSONNEL
COPERNICUS: Vocals
PIERCE TURNER: Keyboards, Musical Director
LARRY KIRWAN: Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
THOMAS HAMLIN: Drums
JEFFREY RICHARDS: Flute, Keyboards, Effects
CHRIS KATRIS: Guitar
STEVE MENASCHE: Marimba, Percussion
FRED PARCELLS: Affected Trombone
JIMMY ZHIVAGO: Guitar, Piano
FRED CHALENOR: Bass Guitar
PADDY HIGGINS: Bodhran, Floor Toms
MATTY FILLOU: Saxophone
MARVIN WRIGHT: Guitar, Piano, Drum Machine
ANDY HEERMANS: Bass
ROSEANN HORN: Vocals
FIONNGHUALA: Vocals
J.C. ROSE: Vocals
JIM O'LEARY: Vocals
PRODUCTION
All lyrics by Copernicus. All music spontaneously created by all musicians. (C) Nevermore, Inc. 2009. (P) Nevermore, Inc. (Ski Music Division) 2009. All rights reserved.
Recorded and mixed by James Frazee, at Water Music Studios, Hoboken, NJ, on Novermber 2, 2008.
Mastered by Scott Hull at MasterDisk.
Executive Producer: Joseph Smalkowski
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ALBUM REVIEWS

"... this album is no less a tour de force than anything he's so far presented, from the very first track a ranting raving cyclotron of the poet-"singer"-keyboardist's arresting spirito-somatic insights, philosophy, and eccentric art."

- Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

"... scorching free-rock vamps ... there’s magic happening here ..."

- Monsieur Delire

"... reminiscent of spiritualist fusion jazz from the seventies ... between the avant-garde and psychedelic rock ..."

- Musik reviews

"... the great mystic cauldron of roiling cosmic energy overlaying an explosion of jazz/avant/free-form/noise/rock/kitchen-sink sounds."

- John Shelton Ivany

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ARTIST PROFILE

Perhaps the most fitting way to describe Copernicus is as a "performance poet." Even though the gentleman originally named Joseph Smalkowski plays keyboards, Copernicus refuses to be categorised as a musician. Despite often having inhabited the alternative New York rock'n'roll scene, his music also exudes strong elements of jazz, classical and the avant garde. Even though Copernicus' preferred recording strategy is that of improvisation, his epic pieces tend to revolve around themes, riffs and repeated clusters, moving along a clearly linear pathway.

The booming delivery and abstract texts evoke the spirit of classic beat generation poetry, but the Copernicus stance goes back even further to the theatrical confrontations of the Dada movement. He's always preferred the improvisatory approach, even though each poem's grist might be prepared in advance, their rhythms and content might be disassembled in the moment.

Copernicus has always been fiercely independent, since he first started recording in this manner, back at the dawn of the 1980s. He organises the recording sessions, sculpts the assembled band, oversees the album artwork and releases each disc on his own Nevermore, Inc. label. 1985 brought Nothing Exists, which emphatically laid out the themes of his subsequent work. A burst of creativity led to the swift succession of Victim Of The Sky (1987), Deeper (1989) and Null (1990). Often, Copernicus would perform with large-scale ensembles, but in 1991 he initiated the practice of giving completely solo performances, revealing his declamations in a stripped, confrontational space. He views himself as a conduit for abstract ideas and philosophical notions. Copernicus decided that his particular marriage of music and narrative was the best way to communicate his thoughts and concepts to a receptive audience.

He released "No Borderline" in 1993, but there was to be a longer gap before the eventual release of 2001's "Immediate Eternity" -- which moved in a completely different direction, as its creator was spending increasing amounts of time in Ecuador.

Copernicus was evolving after having spent three years penning his book, also called Immediate Eternity. He linked up with Los Nomadas from Guayaquil, the country's biggest city, and his music moved temporarily more towards the zone of jazz-rock fusion. With 2010's Disappearance, Copernicus made a return to the old established methods, refining them into a distillation of an ongoing obsession with the freedom and beauty of nothingness.

Image: Nevermore Records artist, Copernicus
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