Sound — 8
Matta Gawa create a science experiment of sounds, electrical rays, and pulses on their latest CD, Ba. The album unfurls like a lengthy correspondence that communicates on a cosmic plane. Guitarist Edward Ricart displays the dexterity of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and the eclectic sensibilities of Jimi Hendrix. His partner, drummer Sam Lohman, exhibits a primal beating in his rumbles reflective of Voivod's Michel Away Langevin complimented by the mercurial penchant of Billy Cobham. The psychedelic mosaic of Your Ba Will Not Abandon Your Corpse puts the listener in a dream state as guitar flares blaze above an undertow of tribal drumming. The digitalized effects of Izezi And His Ba thicken and thaw out producing a succession of mutations that produce sci-fi figments and out-of-this-world formations. Melodic patterns sound like they are made from resistors, electrodes, and radial waves coming together to create a space age orchestra. Unconformity breeds Matta Gawa's sound structures. The tracks are uncensored and unprecedented with slant-like shapes and shooting shards like in Dialogue of a Man with His Ba tempered by episodes of dead space that counter the bustling activity. The periodic pauses are as intense as the swirling sounds of Ricart's guitar. The tracks simulate the instability of untested chemicals reacting towards each other. Sometimes the compounds are calming and other times they produce a tumultuous temperament. Wherever Ricart and Rohman take their music, they let the changes steer their direction.
Lyrics — 8
All of the tracks are instrumentals, relying on sonic waves and digital sounds as an outlet to express mood changes and the nuances in the chord dynamics. The tracks have an avant garde edge so the omission of lyrics does not hurt the album. The music is entirely dependent on the relationship between Ricart and Rohman, so for the purpose of UG's rating system, I have rated the lyrics with an 8.
Overall Impression — 8
Ba is the symbol for barium, a radioactive substance on the periodic table of elements. It is a source used in gamma rays and for making fireworks. I am not saying that Matta Gawa's album Ba is based on the symbol for barium, but the music certainly sounds like it is made from barium with the Star Wars-like lasers fashioning My Ba Cannot Be Kept From My Corpse and the shooting sparks catapulting Dialogue of a Man with His Ba. The music is erratic and yet innately man-made.