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HiM | Many in High Places Are Not Well (Bubblecore/Fat Cat)
Those who lost interest in Tortoise after their brilliant and groundbreaking 1996 album 'Millions Now Living Will Never Die' could do a lot worse than checking out this third album proper from drummer Doug Scharin and assembled cohorts. As a founding member of (the much-missed) Rex, June 44 and Codeine, Scharin has had a varied background but seems to have found his real home under the moniker HiM. While Tortoise's musical direction after 'Millions...' may have frustrated many, Scharin & Co. have taken things a step further from the excellent 'New Features' and introduced vocals, (courtesy of one Christian Daustreme) into the proceedings, coinciding with an additional passion and invention on display. Featuring the likes of Rob Mazurek, Fred Erskine (June of 44) and Adam Pierce of Mice Parade fame, the often dub-heavy rhythms play up a storm of a funky fusion of world, African and West Coast jazz elements combining to make varied and intricate album that must surely rate among the best to have emerged from Chicago in a long while.
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003