check this review! - www.audiogrid.com/chemystryset
Birthed by the ever-present spontaneous combustions of all that is Chemystry, and produced under the auspices of Dickie Ogden (Dr. Dickie), this third incarnation in the underground trilogy is probably the most refined and momentous creation in the Set's storied journey. Leaving more room for each song to breathe, the Set's ever evolving musicianship shines through the brilliant dynamics, giving more meaning to the album's daring arrangements and twists. And should you wonder about the implications of the album title, turn your attention to that most treasured and ancient wisdom, found between all lines and within yourself: The end is the beginning, be here now!
Chemystry Set - The Story
Sprung from the idea that diverse musical styles should be able to find a common home in one band, the Chemystry Set has brewed a creative stew of original music and message since 1996. With its unwavering dedication to songcrafting, the quintet has emerged as a flagship of musical integrity, ceaselessly defying itself and the coming and going of trends. Fender Rhodes Keyboardist/Singer Patty Hughes says it's Art Rock. Mandolinist/Singer Baba Ndjhoni calls it World Groove Fusion. Bassist Joel Oppenheimer makes a point for Deep Jazz Groove. Guitarist/Singer Sven Eberlein would argue for Zen Anarcho Fables. But it's probably Dickie Ogden who best sums up the Set's essence with a drummer's eloquence: It's all Rock 'n' Roll! And really, who could argue with crowds of shaking hips and smiling faces, with tight arrangements full of twists and surprises, with engaging in life's bigger questions through music, with a democracy of thoughts and ideas? At the end of the day we will all ask ourselves whether we had fun and got inspired, and being part of the Chemystry Set universe, the answer will always be a definitive yes.
1998: Life in the Underground
A groundbreaking debut by the eclectic rock ensemble. 13 tracks weave their way through deep realms of consciousness, telling stories of rebellion, conspiracy, roots and hope. Guest appearances by bassoonist Paul Hanson (Windham Hill), percussionist Avidan Rose (Mobius Operandi, Myron Dove) and Soji Odukogbe (Kotoja, West African Highlife Band). Binaural audio clips from the hands and ears of multimedia guru Tony Idarola.
Some sounds vibrate between open-air jazz and old Genesis-type progressiveness (Peter Gabriel Genesis, not 1980's Invisible touchGenesis). There's a free groove that doesn't give away where the song is going next. All in all, it's a great vibe.
Tony Hicks, Contra Costa Times
2001: The Space Between
The follow-up to Life in the Underground, The Space Between celebrates the growing seeds and the evolution of life with an uplifting soul journey through themes of community, activism and transformation. An edgy jazzy world groove provides the musical canvas to effusive storytelling, creating a rich texture of multi-stylistic peregrinations. Featuring soul singer Krystle Jones (SF Funk Allstars). Recorded on 2 inch reel-to-reeel by avant-garde maverick Oliver DiCicco. Acrylic on canvas cover by Matt Ritchie.
Chemystry set combines the elements of Congolese rumba, jazz, funk and rock into an explosive mix that is pure rocket science. One of the most outspoken and musically dynamic bands to come out of the San Francisco Bay Area in recent years, the quintet regularly draws large crowds to its upbeat grooves and slamming improvisations. The group's irreverent lyrics recall the skewed contemporary fables of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and its musical influences celebrate the groundbreaking works of such artists as Franco, Talking Heads and Frank Zappa.
Rhythm Magazine, June 2001
Quotes and Feedback
It's very stylized, a very SF Bay Area urban earthy jive energy. Chemystry Set is very likable, not only because they play good tunes, but because they put out a sincere vibration of trust in each other and in the possibility for human understanding and compassion. Check them out!
- Kirstin Miller, The Psychic Reader
Beside the vocals, drums, guitar and bass, the five-member band features mandolins, piano, tamboura and kitchen utensils-whatever it takes to get the job done. It's the sort of thing that prompts people to dance in public. There's a trace of the spirit of bands like the Grateful Dead in their music, but it doesn't cross the line into too much space jamming-though there's definitely improvisation, with members feeding each other new grooves and things born from experimentation.
- Tony Hicks, The Contra Costa Times
Best show I've seen live in San Francisco - memorable!
- Elaine Duffy, Ireland
Chemystry Set played last night at the Hotel Utah. I think they are one of the most phenomenal bands I have seen and heard in a long time. If you EVER get a flyer or hear about an upcoming show, I recommend you make plans to GO! They are VERY fun and all excellent musicians.
- Dominick Ulman of Ing, San Francisco-
I just found you guys looking for local shows off of JamBase. I hit your site and pulled your tunes down. Great stuff. Me and the wife are in the middle of grooving as I write this. It is so refreshing hearing this from a West Coast band. We'll most certainly check you out at an upcoming show.
- Marc Williams, San Jose
I am still very much enjoying your tape. The last song brings shivers down my spine and takes me back. I like that you can hear the band lifting the audience up. It also gave me inspiration to use some Zairian samples with my music.
- Serge Platel, Promoter, Brussels, Belgium
Best show in S.F. yet!
- Peter Callahan, S.F.
Sven mixes music, politics, spirituality and activism into an ongoing quest for a life path that makes sense and a difference.
- Kirstin Miller, Psychic Reader
Fun! Wow! Great! Much grooviness wild dance music, thanks!!
- Wendy Stevens, El Portal
It's rare to find a band of such a stylistic range with its very own signature. Sounds from Underground; made me wear out the repeat button on my CD player.
- Hannes Perkunder, Berlin
What fantastic musicianship what an eclectic style!
- Sue Sandlin, San Francisco
Beautiful sounds, man!
- Soma Honkanen, Fairfield, IA
Check out the artist's website:
1. The Last Real Experience
5. Follow the Idiopath
6. Now and Right Here
7. Leading the Saint
9. Seed for a Dream
10. Ghost of Flesh