“92 Minutes In The Tea Room”

To be a reviewer around here you have to be at least part sleuth. Information is not always forthcoming from labels and tapes. That said, what we have here is a split tape between Mid-Air! and DDDDDDDDD’s-that’s nine “D’s” friends.

Side one is Mid-Air! and that begins innocently enough with some  simple repetitive piano and percussion. This doesn’t last long and before I can clean up my spilt coffee they (he, she, it?) are expanding on this theme and then taking it in new directions altogether. Uh-oh, now we’re beating on the pots and pans. Simple is gone. Innocent is hiding. A simple cymbal tap in succession. About midway we are treated to some grunts and groans accompanied by a sinister backward piano. Some sense of rhythm returns and on it goes. And this is only side one.

The D’s, as i lovingly refer to them (him, her, they?) are a little more on the dark side. Subterranean. This is the soundtrack for the subway to hell. About half way through the side, everything stops and a voice announces “side two”. Well thanks, it’s been side two for 15 minutes….all is forgiven though as the music returns to twisting and turning like a day-old taco in your large intestine-all with a touch of low-fi to boot.

Don’t be mistaken, these are two separate and quite different performances on the two sides of this tape. The originality is the common theme.and not much else.

Aptly titled as its a total 92 minute tape, these guys call this “trip-hop”-which sounds about right. It’s not music in any traditional genre nor is it strictly electronic or ambient or even experimental. There’s some structure here. it’s not really free-form. It’s none of these and all of these. It defies categorization. Both bright and dark, silly and serious. This tape has found the lonely path of uniqueness. This is good stuff.


-Robert Richmond