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Boomkat Product Review:
First Contact! brings together highlights from nearly half a decade of recordings by an extended and ever changing superstar lineup of Chicago jazz, punk and rock musicians under the tutelage of cellist/ leader Fred Lonberg-Holm. What you'll hear on this disc is an uproarious gathering of sonic jouissance featuring composer, songsmith and producer Jim O'Rourke, laptop guitar cum electronics-whiz Kevin Drumm, Jeb Bishop, Guillermo Gregorio, members of Town and Country, Pillow, TV Pow, and dozens of other bright lights from this city's creative gene pool on acoustic instruments, homemade sound concoctions and blistering digital and analog electronics as they explore elements of sonic growl, guttural hornspeak, and wistfully spaced out playing. But this isn't just some dandy's hoity toity conceptual affair. Counterpoised somewhere between video game warfare and an explosive Arkestral moog freakout from many a Sun Ra episode, this superb collection begins surely enough teetering on the edge of a sonic collision that sets the pace for a grand, adventurous listening experience that just as easily blends the pointilism and angular attack of classic European free music with the raw, blissful emotional group flow of mid-1970s Henry Threadgill.