G-Man CD


If you're fluent in Italian, please check out Piero Scaruffi's history of the band...

Revolver Distribution Fax 12/6/96

"From the slash and burn explosive rock violence of their early singles to the spin and pummel improvi-skronk of last years trailblazing double CD to this, a dangerous mission in the covert world of experimental espionage, counter-rock-intelligence, daring electronic deceit and complete guitar interrogation (think dental). Fans of the Skullflower/Total ilk would be advised to rendezvous immediately as this disc could most certainly self destruct at any moment."

Washington Post City Paper 2/21/97

"Ever since its 'Cow Song' 7-inch exploded from Fairfax, Rake has occupied an iconoclastic position in the D.C. music scene. After three singles of flaming noise-punk, the band's debut LP, Rake Is My Co-Pilot, was a perverse turn, gathering up sprawling improvised rock, Moog, windy sax, and electronic bursts from an old Simon game. The band's double CD Art Ensemble of Rake/Tell Tale Moog vacillated between the two moods, lulling and then shocking even the most patient ear. Intelligence Agent (sic) blends these tendencies, placing the resulting music-at least from 'PostScript.drv' on-in the realm of Richmond or Louisville math-rock or improv rock (Slint, Rodan, Coral, Pelt). But Rake, powered by Vinnie Van Go-Go's academic jazz-guitar chops and a bandwide interest in out-jazz, is a strong enough unit to produce interesting and individual sounds (think of Last Exit crossed with Art Ensemble of Chicago). On the first half of this disc, there's a seamless progression from the artier ebb and flow of 'PunkRock Glo' to the seething rock of 'Chair Throwing Incident'-lead by controlled drum pounding-and fading carefully into the electronic tone play of 'B.D.B.,' where a riff worthy of considerable air-guitar mileage signals that we are about to rock. It wouldn't be Rake without Moog excess or drowned-out vocal screaming, but when 'The Cosmos at Large' brings the noise together-earthy punk merging with spiritual free jazz-the result is a dynamic, inventive proponent of a burgeoning musical alternative."-Jeff Bagato

Collegiate Times 2/21/97

"Rake are an extreme unit of noise/jazz assassins from the nether worlds of Fairfax; and despite the important aside that bandleader Bill Kellum operates the influential VHF label, their newest opus is a product of Blacksburg's very own Squealer Records, and their most violently diverse to date.
Seemingly a contrived concept album about Special Intelligent Agent Jack Kurtz, G-man is both an ode to Sonny Rollins and the F.B.I., a valiant discourse on anti-music not nearly as obnoxious as Harry Pussy and a million times more invigorating than the average ensemble. From the annoyance of opening track '10,000 KILAHURTZ tone', to the squawking radiance of 'Chair-Throwing Incident', Rake manage to sound like they have more fun making a ruckus than any other out-rock outfit. While the minions wax cathartic with their legions of effects boxes and damaged guitars, Rake reek nervous intensity, simultaneously recalling the energy-jazz of Albert Ayler and the bee-buzz fervor of Masami Akita. Their improvising process is distinct from many others thanks to the overwhelmingly inherent talent of the lineup, and the sheer skronking presence of an overqualified horn section helps make G-man one of bizarro music's greatest new releases."-Jeremy Adam Koren

Mole Magazine #10

"Splayed out moog noodling burbles around like an impending thunderstorm until the clouds get too thick and black and burst forth in crackle and loud thuds late into 'B.D.B' and settle down to the soaking rain of 'PostScript.drv.' From here on, cloud after cloud loosens buckets of epic rock and super spoo that floods the competition. Their best LP and a much needed coalescence of their broad and dense noise styles."-Jeff Bagato

Progress Report #4

"Ridiculously overlong album by some Americans who go from improv guitar/synth, to 'EPI' era VU drone, to neo-fuckery. Could do with cutting back about half this material and honing it down to 40 minutes of improv and/or one-glyph-chug, rather than the 802 hour marathon that it is. They don't just pile on the sound, there's some fine awareness going on here, but it's a shame you need to get through the mediocre bits. There's nothing as whoosy as a track listing, but the better tracks are the ones where they grind away for a couple of days. Real sweet chug. Also a highlight is a peculiar recording of some cops arguing about whether it's a misdemeanor to sell popcorn or not at a show. He paid a 'buck' for a bag of popcorn, and it costs 5 'bucks' to get in. We like stories. More recordings of weirdo conversations please."-Hassni Malik