As a 80s heavy metal kid, drum solos were de rigueur. I never much cared for 'em, but the pyrotechnics that often accompanied were pretty hot so they were tolerable. Once that fad died, drummers never really regained the stage time they once had. I would imagine there is a healthy cult underground that worships and deconstructs drum solos in order to keep the showy beating of the traps a vital art form. Enter Australian drummer Laurenz Pike. Mr. Pike has been building a career hitting things for bands like Flanger, Pivot, & Triosk. Apparently he is quite the thing as he impressed Monica records' Gurdun Gut so much that he convinced him to cut a nine minute drum solo and released it as a 10" record. I have listened to this piece of wax over and over and still do not know what to make of it.
The opening track 'Drums for Fun and Fitness (9 minute drum solo)' is exactly that; a nine minute recording of Pike givin' the traps a good workout. It really is quite amazing to listen to the admittedly complicated runs he creates on the fly. Even you don't necessarily enjoy this particular art form, it is always entertaining to experience a master at work. The rest of the release is comprised of three interpretations of the initial recording with interesting results. "Shakesbeer (Chica and the Folder Mix)" incorporates and manipulates Pike's work into a very mellow & chilled electronica piece while "Last Dance (Masha Qrella Mix)" is a cool, yet energetic pop tune. The most interesting track comes from the same person who initiated the project. "Laurenz of Australia (Gurdun Gut Mix)", deconstructs and affects the initial recording to point where it is near unrecognizable. It is completely absorbed into a digitized realm, digested and then re-birthed as something entirely unexpected and very very cool.
I remain intrigued by the nature of this project and the choice to release it as a 10". That said there is something that smacks of fetishism here that keeps me from wanting to embrace it fully. Even though I don't understand it all doesn't mean that I won't endorse it. 7/10 -- Chris Jacques (29 June, 2006)