Flowchart - Evergreen Noise Is Flexible / The Spirit of Kenny G

Fuzzy Box
(fuz026: 708527802625)
Release date: 04/18/2003
Genre: Electronic, Pop Rock, Drone

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1. Of A
2. Evergreen Noise Is Flexible
3. Euphemistic Toys
4. Dream Song of Magnetic Travels
5. The Spirit of Kenny G
6. Glorious and Prosperous
7. E-Flare Pop
8. Drunken Mini-Musik
9. No Microchips

Sean O'Neal's Flowchart project still thrives. However, it sounds nothing like it did during the mid-90's. While Flowchart is more based around computer-based digital frolic these days, Flowchart still seems to be more well-known for their synth-heavy, kitschy, one-note pop-rock and drone.

This CD consists of two long out-of-print EPs consolidated onto one disc. Each EP sustains a charmingly irresistible indie-pop sound. Some songs are drone-y and drug-y while others are uppity pop-jungles doused with sarcastic humor and mind-twirling spacey-ness. Some feel that these two EPs show a more developed sound than their usual stuff, which often generated a plentitude of critical comparisons to Stereolab and My Bloody Valentine. A journalist once wrote: "Flowchart outgrew such criticisms with "The Spirit of Kenny G," which has more straightforward pop songs and floating melodies. (The 12-inch "Evergreen Noise Is Flexible," which goes for more abstract compositions, also helps.) "Spirit of Kenny G" utilizes deep vocals and a guitar wah effect for a sound between blaxploitation and marijuana indulgence."

"Evergreen Noise Is Flexible" was originally released on 12" in March 1996 on Carrot Top and Fuzzy Box Records. These four tracks consist of the original Flowchart line-up: O'Neal, Brodie Budd and Craig Bottel (along with Bill Nace on two of the tracks). The one- and two-note space-rock drones and jams in slow motion -- laced with whining organs, sweeping synths, laid-back drum-lines, and occasional breathy female and male vocals -- where your head begins to drift amidst the polished lo-fidelity. Kickin' Records in London liked the opening track, "Of A," so much that they licensed it for a space-rock compilation. Dot Allison (formerly of One Dove) sampled a hefty chunk of the second half of the song "Evergreen Noise Is Flexible" which you can hear looping underneath her lyrics and a sitar in her song "Morning Sun" from her "Afterglow" album released on Heavenly/Arista in 1999.

"The Spirit Of Kenny G" was originally released on CD and 12" in September 1996 on home-fi label Blackbean and Placenta Tape Club. Primarily performed by O'Neal, the five-track EP is happy-ish, synth-driven indie rock/pop with simple, irresistible melodies, comical wit and droning guitar brilliance. Two more radiant tracks (the title track and "E-Flare Pop" -- which features hilarious lyrics about O'Neal taking ecstasy at a rave and rubbing the shoulders of a very young girl while huffing on Vapor-Rub) -- are more upbeat-y and on a pop-jingle level. Meanwhile, "Glorious and Prosperous" is drug-y one-note drone with a funny ZZ Top-meets-Pink Floyd guitar solo that comes tearing through the ambient wash. And "Drunken Mini-Musik" is head-twirling electronic, synth-sweeping, eerie drone that was recorded live at the Knitting Factory in New York City during a show with Windy & Carl and Simeon from the Silver Apples. Apparently, the EP was quite a hit in Tokyo where it was one of the top-10 best-sellers in three different stores for a long period of time at each -- including being the #1 best-seller at Rough Trade Records.

Ahhh...So now you have both EPs on one CD. Even though Flowchart has enough releases in their discography to cover an entire wall, these two EPs seemed to have sparked more attention and praise than almost all of Flowchart's other releases. These days, nostalgia is the in-thing. Now it's Flowchart's turn to be a part of the trend.

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