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A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen – The History Of Music: A Mosaic (Jezus Factory Records)

Ever since that time when early bluesman Robert Johnson invited us all to come on in his, the kitchen has made regular appearances in the pantheon of contemporary music. It has variously been full of fire, rats, chickens and soul; a place of distinction, occasionally different and even somewhere to seek refuge at parties. And Craig Ward, Bootsie Butsenzeller and Paul Lamont have drawn upon it not once, but twice to describe their musical collaboration. A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen is a name, deliberately chosen you would surmise, to give you absolutely no indication as to what you are about to hear.

A greater clue can be found in The History Of Music: A Mosaic, the title of their second full length album, for the eight tracks contained therein are an assemblage of sound they have plundered from a lineage largely dating from the free jazz movement of the early sixties to the proto-prog rock pyromania of the first part of the following decade.

Holed up in some Belgian bunker, the trio must have been force-fed a staple diet of John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman for extended periods of time because the influence of those two jazz greats courses through the veins of The History Of Music: A Mosaic. The title track is a dense, rapid slab of improvisation that for all of its apparently untethered chaos still remains firmly hinged to the concepts of harmony and movement.

Where ‘The History Of Music: A Mosaic Part 6’ does seek structure and a heightened sense of refinement in its avant-garde abandon, ‘Yellow’ dispenses with any such formalities choosing instead to head straight into that familiar Trout Mask Replica territory of squalling racket and untutored jazz. But just like Captain Beefheart’s masterpiece it does contain moments of fractured beauty when, and not for the first time, Ward’s guitar apes that of Robert Fripp. The blistering fury of Ward’s fretwork in the middle passage, right before the track melds into a clattering whirlpool of noise, must surely be a long lost relative of Islands’ frenetic ‘Sailor’s Tale’.

Yet long before ‘Yellow’ is upon us the bloodline to King Crimson has already become clearly apparent. As Crimson splintered into what was to become their last truly great line-up, A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen must have been on hand to rescue ‘Innocence Fading’ from the flames of a burning Starless and Bible Black.  Whilst ‘Brown’ would not require any DNA testing to prove the paternity of the title track from Red, given that they both share the same family characteristics of a heavy guitar riff building up a relentless momentum into a truly glorious crescendo.

For all that The History Of Music: A Mosaic has been lovingly prepared and slowly brought to the boil in a melting pot of startling influence and clear derivation it still has enough individual capacity and downright chutzpah to hold its head high in the more modern world of avant noise-rock.

The History Of Music: A Mosaic is released on 3rd March 2014 via Jezus Factory Records

Rating: ★★★½☆

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.