John Ferrara (Consider The Source) teamed up with Seth Moutal for a side project of music he had been working on, that was not CTS material. John had been playing around with looping pedals and bass lines, and thought it would be awesome to find a drummer to play a side project together with. While in Nyack NY at an open mic night, he first saw Seth ripping a drum solo, and killing it. He reached out to Seth a little later, to show him his songs. At their first rehearsal, they kept throwing ideas around, and it went well. Their playing styles meshed perfectly together, and their Duo was born.
I purposely kept my head and ears clean of any articles on their music, and all songs. I wanted to hear their music new, fresh, and unprejudiced. Free from opinion and uncolored. On watching Seth's first drum solo, I was very intrigued, and had never seen a drummer quite like him. His style is unique, and raw. His first drum solo came across animalistic, and discombobulated, and I really liked it! His second drum solo was more structured, but still had flair and individuality, and made the crowd dance.
The two fed each other flawlessly and influenced each arrangement charismatically. When Will Then Be Now gave us a gentle insight into their vision. Starting out slow and tender, it soon became a fast paced musical tsunami. The intentional undulations reminded me of a rogue wave, loud and powerful, becoming stilled by breakers then engulfing a bay. They were introducing the world to a brand new sound, birthed by their album : Frail Things In Sharp Places. It is the perfect name for their sound, these songs that were each both primal and seductive, hard and gentle, an unusual sound that is incomparable. I was engrossed in their sound, their techniques, and by sheer musical fascination.
Grandma Jeannie was propelled by Seth, hand drumming, he seemed to be the fuel for their lift off in a deep- space craft, heading to unknown parts of the Universe. Sharing their musical wonders with the rest of the galaxy to invoke peace and unity with the cosmos. Using the universal languages of math, melody, and rhythmics to broadcast to other lifeforms. The song was comforting and inviting, it was as enticing as grandma's homemade chocolate chip cookies, warm from the oven. And just as delicious to the music lovers' ears and souls.
John Ferrara was in a hypnotic state, as if his meditation was accomplished with a bass guitar and magical means. He sat in a chair, layered bass lines down into a looper, and continued to seduce various sounds and notes with his bass guitar. Together their sound was tribal and euphoric simultaneously, and I sat back smiling, in awe. The show was exhilarating, and the music as inebriating as a narcotic. John Ferrara's bass solos were astonishing, his speed and skill are unparalleled. But add to his prowess mysticism, and sorcery, and you may be able to wrap your head around his sound. This is what makes John ferrara the best bass player in the Milky Way Galaxy.
It was as if we all were a tribe of primitive natives, without vocal language. We communicated with head nods, dancing feet, whistles, drums, and hand claps. Nestled in the wilds of a rain forest deep in another dimension, we were visited. Two professors had come to talk with us, to tell us of the outside world; using the only language we knew. Pulsating drums, significant bass notes, and ankle bells. Seth and John relayed wonderful tales to us like Frail Things, making the stardust trapped in our molecular dna reverberate with loving energy, and exciting our energies. Telling us of the cosmos that swirled unseen beyond our realm.
Jackie Chan imparted concentration and focus to us, as we witnessed the velocity of John's double tapping, apt to study him as well. Jackie Chan is an intricate story of proficiency and progress, and we were attentive, openly honoring our exalted travelers. The timely clanging of Seth's cymbals added the exclamation points and avid excitement to the contact, further filling the clan with fervor. It awoke in us an innate joy, and a thirst for fun and festivity, so we drank and celebrated accordingly.
Never had we witnessed such divine skill and momentum as John's resonant narrative of Alternate Endings. His double tapping was exquisite and hypnotizing, as his ankle bells quietly distinguished the song. We fell into a trance as we were astounded into veneration. Our spirits were coaxed into astral travel, where we witnessed the world from which John and Seth came. A rapturous world where expression is encouraged and acclaimed. Seeming to float along the edge of the Universe in melding colors and musical synthesis. The delicate jingles of the bells conveyed relevance, and security. Then all too soon our journey was over. As the show ended I felt as if i had just crash landed back to reality, and I was stunned for a few moments.
The show was a spectacular achievement of dexterity, emotion, and expertise. When an ingenious musician can master bass guitar as lead instrument, and take you on a musical voyage, you book 1st class tickets. You will never be disappointed, not when John Ferrara is at the helm. When a miraculous band like Consider The Source is not enough of a musical outlet for the 'Bassologist Supreme Leader", and he creates a side project to release his prestidigitation, you advance. As musicians evolve, and music progresses, I wonder how long the music industry can blindly lead sheeple into buying their candy coated crap. With gifted men such as Seth Moutal and John Ferrara creating unearthly compositions of earganic arrangements, we are certain to evolve as a species any second.
I did buy a cd at the end of their set, and I kept it in my truck for days. The sound @ The Raleigh Pour House was just ok, and did this album little justice. The cd has impeccable sound engineering and mixing, thanks to Split Rock Studios, & Jrod Productions. If you get a chance to see this duo, DO IT!!! Also do yourself a favor and buy Frail Things In Sharp Places, it is an immaculate mastery of bass and drums. I consider it a cornerstone of the musical foundation being built by independent musicians, bands, and production in this new age of musical enlightenment.
- B. A. Jones