MARC RIBOT AND CERAMIC DOG. CONNECTION, CONSIDERED (2023): Wrecks small speakers . . . .

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Connection (title track)
MARC RIBOT AND CERAMIC DOG. CONNECTION, CONSIDERED (2023): Wrecks small speakers . . . .

Although avant-guitarist Marc Ribot has appeared at Elsewhere under his own name, he is perhaps best known for his work on albums by Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Laurie Anderson and with Robert Plant and Alison Kraus.

We profiled him as a "cosmopolitan guitarist without portfolio" here.

Like fellow traveller Bill Frisell, Ribot can fit in.

But in Ceramic Dog with drummer/electronics/vocalist Ches Smith(John Zorn, David Torn, Liu Xii etc) and bassist/electronics/vocalist Shahzad Ismaily (who appeared with Arooj Aftab on their Love in Exile and was one of the masked miming performers in Dylan's Shadow Kingdom film) he has no interest in “fitting in”.

The Connection album – their fifth, with guest singer Syd Straw, sax, cello and clarinet – is a hard-edged meltdown of doom-laden early Dylan, grinding metal and, on the title track, a mash-up original with its origins in Hendrix and the Stones of the late Sixties.

0021127338_10Not an easy proposition as it demands attention and fires off salvos of rock guitar and socio-political messages in a claustrophobic, angry rage of energy and adrenalin.

Soldiers in the Army of Love is a taut, five minute attack of relentlessly driving rock which dispenses with hippie dreams with “we fight back because . . .” and then delivers a litany of reasons. And damned if it isn't catchy.

The 10 minute explosion of Swan featuring tenor player James Brandon Lewis drives its wedge between Husker Du, Sonic Youth and aggressive free jazz.

Oh, and they cover That's Entertainment. Not the Jam song . . . although its closer to them and the Gang of Four's '79 album Entertainment than its origins in the Fifties' MGM musical The Band Wagon.

This is a very recent album pulled from the shelves at random for this on-going column but it came to hand by happy chance.

a1397000980_10On its release in the middle of last year we downloaded it and dropped it to CD then put it beside the computer with the intention of taking it in the car.

It slipped behind some books so never had the road trip it probably deserved. It's an album that needs a lot of space around it.

We found it the other day in a tidy-up and so here it is for your consideration too.

It's a minefield of sound, politics, fury and passion.

And astonishing music.

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You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here

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Elsewhere occasionally revisits albums -- classics sometimes, but more often oddities or overlooked albums, some by major artists -- and you can find quite a number of them starting here.  

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