What Are They Saying About
Herd Of The Ether Space?

Dolly, Jackie, & Mr. Wren

Recorded in 2001, Dolly & Jackie & Mr. Wren features the core Herd trio consisting of Charles Goff III, Killr "Mark" Kaswan and Robbie Silverman. The CD includes two tracks of 14 and 41 minutes. "Level In The Box" opens with dark cinematic sympho atmospherics, trippy wailing flutes and other assorted sounds that add to the mood. A sax (or something like that) soon joins in doing a wacky sort of freeform thing along with some choir-like chanting and jungle animal sounds, and the Herd experiment with a seriously strange choir motif through to the end. Interesting.

"Two Arms" is the epic track. It opens with a background drone, acid Zappa guitar, cool space and alien electronics, and strange vocals. Nothing chaotic here at all folks. Oh sure, there's plenty of weirdness. But the Herd do an excellent job of smoothly developing their theme which includes all sorts of ambient, progressive, psychedelic, and free-improv influences. Tension builds slowly as multiple players act out their parts, all very nicely paralleling one another's efforts. I like the free-improv guitar and wild vocal bit doing their thing amidst a swirl of freaky background psycho-delics. Then about the 20 minute mark we transition to a sort of Sesame Street from hell, but that introduces what becomes a more experimental segment. I like the sax playing against the pulsating orchestral background. And then... our favorite lounge singer replaces the sax to wind down the track by telling us the story of Dolly & Jackie & Mr. Wren. Overall, the entire piece has a linear and determined feel as opposed to the brain damaged stew pot style of Topical Anesthesia. Two excellent but very different releases. And as the Taped Rug catalog indicates more Herd Of The Ether Space releases then any of Charles' projects, I can only imagine the variety of fun sounds that can heard on the rest of them.

review by Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations

Topical Anesthesia

Topical Anesthesia is a compilation of tracks intended the reflect the Herd's many members. The disc opens with "Every Growing Pressure", an wild parade of voice samples against pulsating phased drones and other freeform sounds. Where IS the toilet?!! "Chewing Gum" is a hallucinogenic glom of tribal percussion, toy piano, lo-fi guitar strumming, drones, miscellaneous found sounds, random crowd samples, chanting, and other voices. "Floss Your Soul" features Charles' lounge singer. There's some killer space freakouts, including a mucho cool piano and guitar duel. My brain hurt after "Mister Bojangles" and I defy any listener to keep up with all that's happening on this sucker. Is this a tribute to Sammy Davis Jr? And is that Bill Cosby dissin' my man Sammy? And "At The Space Bar" is a meandering space trip with some interesting moments and all the expected accompanying wackiness.

My favorite track is "Mourning Has Broken" which features anguished ghostly chanting and Gulf War news samples against a somber symphony. Almost simultaneously we hear a bewildered mother screaming "What is it all about... OIL?!!" along with a man discussing "major ecological disasters". Food for thought from the FIRST Gulf War... and food for thought given current events. The Herd manage to create a haunting tension, an appropriate backdrop for the subject of the new reports, but there's also playful flutes and sax and toy instruments thrown in just to make the whole thing pretty much undefinable. "Farcical Call" is similar in that once again we have a clear subject, in this case the circus surrounding the O.J. murders (we all know the fucker did it).

review by Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations

Suggestions For Inverting Yourself

Ex-scare-a-mental improv! Keyboards, samples, clickyclacky "percussion," duck call, etc. It takes a nation of John Cages to hold Herd Of The Ether Space back. "I'll Drink the Pond Scum, But I Won't Eat The Mud" is my new anthem.

Review by Ian C. Stewart

Taming Lions With Drugs

Herd of the Ether Space is Charles Goff III's (he of Taped Rugs Productions) recording vehicle. Goff is a long-time tape artist and Taming Lions With Drugs sounds like a boiling stew of sounds, meshed together and spinning with familiar voices and sounds reaching from out of the vortex, distant, elusive and compelling. Found recordings, electronics, feedback, buzzing guitars, various and random other-sounds are tossed into a mix that never ceases to be dynamic and flowing...

Review by Bryan Baker

Suicide Driver

Herd of The Ether Space presents a farcical sonic picture of the O.J. Simpson murder case. C. Goff III and Killr “Mark” Kaswan improvise with various instruments and voice textures, along with recordings of news broadcasts from around the time the sordid tale broke.

Review by Hal McGee

Herd of the Ether Space: SUICIDE DRIVER - Th' pic of O.J. on th' cover lends th' proper "theme" to this set by Charles Rice Goff III. This recording of sax, electronics and voxovers from th' "chase" stuph (with Simpson as th' "feature performer") will either make you fall in LOVE with it - OR, it'll fry yer' brain forEVER. EC's Hal McGhee used to review a fair amount of Goff's works, & I'm sure he'd enjoy this just as MUCH as the earlier ones. Make no mistake... this is NOT music for the "uninitiated". It's quite DIFFICULT listening... you've got to be DEDICATED to chaos to even BEGIN to get in to it. Warped brains like mine will ALWAYS be able to appreciate th' weirdnesses (almost a HABIT by now). There are many out there who won't be able to get past the first 5 minutes. For those who WANT a little confusion/uncertainty, however; you NEED THIS. Highly intricate work that'll have you ROLLIN' in th' aisle. RECOMMENDED.

Review by Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazznation Nation #22

A Goblin Realm Of Fakery

Charles Rice Goff's "Herd" was reviewed in issue #20. He sed in his intro to this "CHILLTONIC" that it was "quite different from the other tapes he sent". He's right on th' MONEY there, volkz. This IS kewl stuff! Much less "grating", probably because many of the mixed pieces use acoustic stringed instruments (of one sort or another) as the "base" of the pieces. The mainstay, for this reviewer, was his SKILLFUL use of vocal integration to get a CLEAR focus for the overall effort. There are SO many of these "noiseters" these days who just THROW vox on top of the mix & expect to get rave reviews. You just can NOT lump Goff in that slot, 'owever... in spots, it sounds almost "tribal", something I found strangely soothing (even "humorous" at times). This one comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Keep 'em comin', Charles.

Review by Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation #22

A pile of possibly random unconnectable sounds, yammering loops, the plunking of a tortured, cheap guitar, singing of squeaking balloons. Lightheaded and pointless in some of the right ways. Entirely unmemorable, but not bad for half an hour of DIY distraction.

Review by C. Reider

Dada's Little Psycho

At times this seems like a successful recreation of an acid trip (although, having never dropped acid, I can only guess that it’s accurate). It sounds quite trippy and fragmented, though. C. Goff III and some friends use found sounds, samples, etc. at times lush layers, white noise mixes and sparser arrangements. The songs humorously muse on the Old West, Sammy Davis Jr., etc. With just about every trendy college radio band parroting the Paisley period, it’s about time someone captured its spirit.

Review by Factsheet Five

Noises Of War

What I take to be a recording of a performance centered around the Persian Gulf conflict. Psuedo-ethnic and industrial sounds along with the usual “found” voices make this a potent reminder of all the ambiguities involved in police actions, regardless of whether you were for or against what happened in the recent past. Too bad most people have conveniently forgotten about it already.

Review by Factsheet Five

Short Wayner

Two 15 minute long “free jazz” noodlin’ tracks which would make okay two-minute filler tracks on a tape, but as long improv pieces they are unendurable. Admittedly, I don’t know anything about jazz, much less “free jazz.”

Review by Michael Anderson

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