Gary Lucas   reviews  

i-DJ magazine (UK), December 2008

Review of Wild Rumpus single "Rock the Joint"

The word eclectic is over-used in dance music, but Cosmo and her label Wild Rumpus [sic] are almost the dictionary definition. Here's the closest thing modern dance has come to the essence of blues: a cottage industry production of Gary Lucas' slide guitar, harmonica, psychedelia, Beardyman's wonderful vocals and fat bass. Reverso 68's remix is dubby, ambient, Afro, disco and every bit as eclectic. Wonderfully, wilfully different. 8/10
- Jez Torrance

DJ magazine (UK), December 2008

Review of Wild Rumpus single "Rock the Joint"

Cosmo and Lucas' production outfit, Wild Rumpus, ploughs another beautifully deep cosmic disco groove. This time they've called in the hirsute talents of Beardyman to add twists to their low slung rhythms and blissed-out bassline. Herbert and Mison's Reverso 68 are, of course, a natural choice of remixers, and the Balearic disco fingers get busy tweaking it in all the right directions. 4.5/5

HITS Magazine, August 2008

Review of The Du-Tels "Obama" Video

7. The Du-Tels, "Obama" (YouTube): "Kick it up a notch, Bam," chant Gary Lucas and legendary Holy Modal Rounders member Peter Stampfel in this sing-song online video tribute to the soon-to-be Democratic Presidential nominee. Reimagining "Bam-a-lam" as a combination Abraham Lincoln, Superman and Jesus Christ, the duo kick it old-school style, doing the city thing on a Village stoop and a country nod in a Woodstock clearing, pleading with us not to vote for McCain and to turn the country into a blue-state majority. Not the catchiest, or even the sexiest, campaign clip (Obama Girl's "I Got a Crush...on Obama" gets that nod), "Obama" is a return to the tradition of protest folk-blues that is as much tongue-in-cheek as chic, but no less heartfelt. Check it out for yourself here

Downtown Music Gallery, April 2008

GARY LUCAS - "Sounds of the Surreal" & "Monsters from the Id"
[DVD/92 Minutes]
(Rare Lumiere DVD Series 1; USA)

Gary Lucas has always been a more resourceful and consistently creative guitarist. Although he has worked in rock, folk, blues and noise contexts, he is beyond any common categories. Besides his impressive solo performances and often startling Gods & Monsters (a power trio) gigs/discs, Gary has long worked with films and to great success. He has done it again here accompanying 3 masterpieces of early fantasy silent films. The first is Rene Clair's "Entr'acte" from 1924, a short work shown in between live performances of Dadaism run amok. Gary is a master of dream/world echoplex devices and uses these gently psychedelic sounds to enhance the strange, alien images of the films. The images are often striking and strange, like the three black-faced puppets with their heads deflating and inflating or the chess game on a rooftop. The images are at times disorienting, as well as being occasionally mesmerizing. There also more playful and humorous scenes like the funeral procession with the casket being pulled by a camel and the ballet-like strolling of the mourners behind the casket.

Fernand Leger's "Ballet Mechanique" (also 1924) is next and it was the only film made by the legendary Cubist painter. The images are common ones of women on swings with hypnotic kaleidoscopic images constantly shifting and moving. Gary's guitar works well at adding a layer of mysterious sounds to enhance the strange visual content. I like the way Leger takes "normal" images and repeats them or alters them so that they become more mysterious.

The second part of this disc is called "Monsters from the Id" and it consists of a large number of clips from Gary's favorite horror and sci-fi films, most of which us boomers watched with delight as children in the early sixties. I recognized nearly all of these scenes and it really made me smile thinking of how fondly those days were. Again Gary does a wonderful job of accompanying these images with his trusty guitar. Altogether this entire DVD is filled a mind-numbing amount of fascinating visual stimulation and Gary's great guitar music to blow our minds again and again.
—Bruce Lee Gallanter / Downtown Music Gallery NYC

The Independent (UK), March 21, 2008

Album: Gary Lucas vs The Dark Poets, Beyond the Pale (Some Bizzare)

**** (4 Stars)

Reviewed by Andy Gill
Friday, 21 March 2008

His work with Jeff Buckley and Captain Beefheart probably makes Gary Lucas the world's most popular avant-rock guitarist.

Here, his solo pieces mingle with tracks recorded with electronic composer James Hunter, aka The Dark Poets, whose samplescapes, synth beds and vocal samples about things like military mind-control techniques recall the dark portents of Cabaret Voltaire.

Highlights include a resonant cover of part of Popol Vuh's Aguirre, Wrath of God soundtrack; an exhilarating "Judgement at Midnight" incorporating swirling National steel guitar phrases over a synth drone bed pockmarked with found-sound fragments; "Breath of Bones", a delicate tangle of guitar tendrils; and "Ted's Theme", a lovely sequenced samba-shuffle burnished with glinting guitar.

Solo showcases include the glistening Frippertronic-style guitar tones of "Rosemary's Baby" and the almost electric-flamenco flurries of "Rise Up To Be".

Pick of the album: 'The Judgement at Midnight', 'Ted's Theme', 'Aguirre', 'Rosemary's Baby'