Rocketnumbernine: You Reflect Me
Champion Version

You Reflect Me delivers pretty much what you'd expect from an improvised set by a synth-and-electronics player and drummer: forty-two minutes of heavy gunslinging with brothers Ben and Tom Page crafting mood-shifting soundscapes that breathe uncompromising experimental fire. Though the duo ranges across the stylistic field, with a few quieter moments (e.g., “Rene (Forgive Me),” a meandering moodscape for glockenspiel, bells, and electronics) emerging amidst the noisier, it's in the more aggressive zone where you'll find the siblings most commonly habitating. That they took the Rocketnumbernine name from a Sun Ra song offers some hint of the space-tripping vibe they project in the material, and we're talking live drums here, folks, so the music broils with oft-uncontained energy. “The Bow and the Arrow” has moments that roar with as much energy as a warm-up studio session musicians undertake while waiting for Miles to show. A tom-toms emphasis gives “Pages” a tribal effect, while “Burn Up” writhes before moving into a bass-driven, neo-dub episode. The two longer tracks, “Doodlebug” and “You Reflect Me,” allow the group to stretch out, with the former using the opportunity to grumble and growl combustibly while the howling latter stokes the album's most raucous fire. Being improvised, You Reflect Me includes some small degree of noodling as the Pages try to figure out where the music's taking them, and electronics are used more to build texture than as a lead soloing instrument, with the brothers typically barreling along in tandem.

July 2009