Narcotic Syntax: Provocative Percussion
Word and Sound

Narcotic Syntax (sound scientists James Dean Brown and yapacc) take a sabbatical from eccentric vocal-based exotica (Reptile Sweat Accelerator's “Komodo Dragons” and Superlongevity 4's “Raptors Delight”) for four rhythm-centered instrumental workouts on Wir im Rhythmus ('We in Rhythm'). Constructed entirely from a voluminous bank of percussion samples, the four cuts on the double-vinyl Provocative Percussion (the title references Command Records who released four volumes in an identically-titled series between 1960-2) are as fastidiously assembled and meticulously sculpted as any of the group's other creations.

Each piece is given an extended eight- to nine-minute workout. Steadily anchored by handclaps, “Blast Excavation (Draconic Funk)” initiates the proceeding with a broiling staccato groove whose incessantly percolating patterns run the gamut from techno-funk to syncopated Latin swing. A more straight-ahead metallic stomp bursts from the gate in “Fusión Nuclear (Exotech),” barreling forward while a separate but equally insistent pulse repeatedly steps alongside and then retreats. Conflating two previously-issued tracks, “Descarga Narcotica” will likely sound familiar to Narcotic Syntax listeners. What won't, however, is the jazzy marimba and vibraphone flow Señor Coconut's Carsten Skov brings to the song's thrusting disco-funk shimmy. Handclaps once again stabilize the colossal tribal swing of “Lumbago Groove (Jungalectro)” as the duo digs deep into its percussion cabinet for a frenetic shakers-and-timbales workout. Provocative Percussion's nouveau dance material makes for an enriching enhancement to the Narcotic Syntax discography.

October 2006