Christy Doran (e-guitar); Bruno Amstad (vocals); Vincent Membrez (minimoog); Hans-Peter Pfammatter (keyboards); Dominik Burkhalter (drums)
there's a time to cheer – a time to cry
time to live or a time to die
there's a time to sleep – a time to wake
a time for real and a time for fake
These lyrics sound so familiar, as if they were from a classic blues or rock piece. But they are only the lyrics of "Hurry Up'n' Wait", the second track on "Take the Floor and Lift the Roof", the brand new album from Christy Doran's New Bag. And they set the tone for the CD.
Far from New Bag's fiddling around with free funk of earlier times, "Take the Floor and Lift the Roof" is clearly on the path of rock. The booklet text announces a "musical ball of lightning, which sometimes sounds as if the avant-garde electronic musician Aphex Twin had fusioned with Tony Williams' Emergency!“ Sometimes this ball of lightning reminds you of a kind of ProgRock like you know it more from acts such as King Crimson and Captain Beefheart.
Doran and Co. really give us a genuine NEW BAG with this album.
For Christy Doran, this is just as much a daring step into unexplored terrain as it is a return to his roots. He was born near Dublin son of an Irish man and a Swiss woman and has lived in his mother's native country since his early childhood. He was a guitarist in a Jimi Hendrix cover band after Hendrix's death and then he dedicated himself to jazz for the first time with the band OM, inspired by the improvising approach to music of Hendrix. OM released four LPs under the ECM sublabel JAPO over 10 years. In consideration of his comprehensive activities, you can characterize Doran with a clear conscience as busy and bustling. At the same time, you should not lose sight of the fact that he is more of a faithful soul than a reckless one. For example, he has constantly played together with the drummer Fredy Studer since OM. When he decided to take a risk with NEW BAG, this was not to be a one-night stand. After 14 years and with the seventh album with "Take the Floor and Lift the Roof", even the last skeptic will have to admit this.
The singer in NEW BAG has been Bruno Amstad since 1997, whose style influenced by ethnic music, overtone singing and experimental electronic the Neue Zürcher Zeitung defined succinctly and accurately as "vocal sorcery". To create even richer sounds, NEW BAG was upgraded from a quartet to a quintet with Hans-Peter Pfammatter on keyboards and sampler about 10 years ago. Dominik Burkhalter has been drumming into the hearts of his NEW BAG friends since 2008, so much so that he also acts as producer for the current album. There actually is a change in the band to report: NEW BAG is without bassist and without bass. We now hear the driving woofer grooves by Vincent Membrez. And what we hear is actually a minimoog!