A couple of weeks back we published the exciting news of the return of the progressive band 2KX, after a two-year break, with the release of their new body of work – “Sussuration”. Interesting curiosities that surround the September 1st release of the CD/EP, involves an unusual feature. In that one movement of the song will be available as a special 7” hand-shaped lathe cut record. The record is cut real time on a vintage 1940 record lathe. The CD/EP will contain the full-length version of “Sussuration” as well as a previously released singles from 2KX: “Lemniscate,” a radio-edit of “Sussuration,” and a bonus of “Song For a Name – 2KX” by Johnny Unicorn.
The other mind-blowing plus factors, of the new 2KX release, includes cover artwork by Keith Birdsong, famous for his Star Trek book covers and other outstanding work, as well as mastering by multi-Grammy engineer Adam Ayan of Bob Ludwig’s Gateway Mastering. Ayan is known for his mastering of bands such as The Rolling Stones, Nine Inch Nails, Rush, Linkin Park and numerous others.
In comparing “Sussuration” to an artistic painting, we can clearly define, by the aforementioned facts, that the framework for this effort, is nothing less than exceptional. Lisa Larue, has left nothing to chance and rounded-up the best talent she possibly could, to perfect the physical structure of the audiovisual material incorporated into this CD/EP package.
From a musical point of view, however, the real question is; “What about the creative and performing qualities of 2KX on “Sussuration”? Does this music stand the test of time? Moreover is Progressive or Art Rock still relevant styles of music, in an era saturated with samples, loops and patches; where any newbie can copy and paste an awesome twelve-bar guitar solo into a 128-track musical arrangement, on a 49 dollar home studio rig – without knowing, understanding or being able to perform one single note of music?”
“The answer my friends,” once said the immensely intelligent Bob Dylan, “is blowing in the wind”…or rather…it’s ‘susurrating’ on the latest 2KX EP!
There are only four tracks on this record, but each of them matters as an important piece of this EP. To my mind they are more like ‘Movements’ of a single work of music. Lisa LaRue and crew, were thinking outside the box, and were looking forward into uncharted waters, as 2KX set sail to explore and conquer a world of sound that has stood stationary for many a year.
With its majestically long and illustrious history, Progressive Rock obviously doesn’t start here with “Sussuration”, but 2KX make pretty damn sure it doesn’t end here either, adding luster and substance to a genre that desperately needs to be re-awakened and delivered to the masses, before the total take-over, of simple beats and rhymes, is completed.
What is so strong about this recording is that each piece is archetypal. Each is the definitive version of itself. From the virtuosic, almost 12-minute –long “Sussuration”, to the, at- times-introspective, at-times-theatrical “Lemniscate” and the fairy-tale-with-a-message, radio edit, of “Sussuration”, all the music is strange, new and familiar at the same time. You may think you’d heard it before and elsewhere, but until this recording came along, you hadn’t (well you have, but not in this tincture!).
Perhaps it was simply the newness of combining these songs at this particular moment in music, but 2KX comes out with a unique, complete and coherent EP. It’s one of those recordings where every note is in place, every inflection is absolutely right, perfectly capturing a singular moment in time.
“Sussuration”, is an extraordinary virtual-music, appreciation-course, capable of giving the listener an instant respect not only for classical music, but also for the jazz and rock influences contained within. Each member of 2KX gets ample opportunity to show off his or her talents. Lisa Larue’s keyboard playing is simply breathtaking across the tracks, as is Steve Adams’ guitar, Don Schiff’s bass, Merrill Hale’s drums and new vocalist, John Baker. Not to mention all the other musical contributions displayed on “Sussuration”.
2KX with this EP release continues to push the boundaries of popular music. Forty-five years down the line, “Sussuration” is definitely one of first new albums, to try and reshape the future Progressive Rock again.
If you are looking for lighthearted, dance or easy listening music, this isn’t it. This is music to be listened to, savored, and listened to again. Portentous, audacious, biting and driven; great musical art requires technical skill and the ability to influence the way we emote with it. “Sussuration” contains both!
Band Members & Credits:
2KX members are Lisa LaRue on keyboards, Steve Adams on guitar, Mike Alvarez on cello, John Baker for vocals, Merrill Hale for drums and percussion, and Don Schiff on bass and NS Stick. Baker, previously lead vocalist/guitarist for Mars Hollow as well as playing for Christian Love (The Beach Boys) and The Little Girls, joins as a band member on this release, as lead vocalist. Special guests are Michael Wheeler playing Dilruba and violinist Brenda K of the Panache Orchestra. The album was produced and mixed by LaRue and mastered by multi-Grammy mastering engineer Adam Ayan of Bob Ludwig’s Gateway Mastering. Ayan is known for his mastering of bands such as The Rolling Stones, Nine Inch Nails, Rush, Linkin Park and numerous others.
Prior to their two-year break period, 2KX was nominated as Best Instrumental Band at the 21st Annual Los Angeles Music Awards. Earlier career highlights for Lisa LaRue include being the first female artist signed to the Sound of America Records (SOAR) Natural Visions sub label, the 2008 Oklahoma Music Awards “Native American Artist of the Year” and a 2008 nominee for the Hollywood Music Awards Instrumental category.
For more information about Lisa LaRue and the 2KX September 2014 release of, “Sussuration”, go to www.lisalaruemusic.com or contact First People Media at firstname.lastname@example.org. For social networking, the Facebook fanpage is at http://www.facebook.com/lisalarue2KX and watch the videos on their YouTube channel.