Expo 70 Ė Live in the Pit (2 x CD Zoharum)
Until Justin sadly suffered an accident last year that saw him almost loose his thumb and ring finger he was incredibly prolific putting out Expo 70 albums like there was no tomorrow.
The good news is he is slowly recovering from his injury and hopefully he will at some point be able to pick up the guitar again. In the meantime he still has that urge to create music and is doing so with synths and other electronic instruments. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Live in the Pit collects two live studio on-air performances, held on KFJC in Los Altos Hills California in 2008 and in 2010. The recordings were separately released, in tiny editions. 2008 as a bonus CDr to the "Psychosis" LP and 2010 as a tour CDr. Zoharum has wisely decided to give them a proper, well deserved, release.
The first performance is Expo 70 as a duo. Justin on guitar and Matt Hill on bass and analog drum machine. It takes rather too long to get going for me. The first 20 or so minutes is very much Justin on his own and then finally more bass tones appear (in an almost Sunn0))) ) sort of way and the whole thing heavies up. The heaviness though is short lived and we move back to a more ambient sort of Expo70 almost sounding like a backing to a Terry Riley album. That long slow drone sound acting as a pad to some subtle delayed guitar work. The whole piece ends with some awkward sounding play between the guitar doing some very quiet scrapings and a drum machine based hi-hat. Of the two discs this is the one I revisit the least though it has its moments.
Performance two from November of 2010 is where it really makes this release worthwhile. Itís a solo Expo 70, Justin on his own. Using guitar, analog drum machine and moog. Starting with a compelling synth riff Justin soon adds in his familiar style of guitar playing and a 70s style drum machine giving the whole piece a Berlin School feel. Itís a much more energetic and dynamic piece than the early performance on disc 1 and makes for a very enjoyable listen. DB
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