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Old 07-15-2002, 11:44 AM   #1
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(07-15-2002) Local group is ONE with Eno's music - Boston Globe

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Local group is ONE with Eno's music

By Jim Sullivan, Globe Staff, 7/15/2002

SOMERVILLE - Consider Brian Eno, Roxy Music's sound wizard of the early '70s and a ground-breaking, genre-busting, avant-garde solo artist of the same (and subsequent) era. (You should put aside what you now know about Eno, the producer of U2, among others. This is about Eno, recording artist.)

Consider that Eno - the flamboyant, pansexual oddity, the erudite, self-described ''nonmusician'' - rarely played out live, then or ever. His fans - a small set in the early days - have perhaps met online in recent years, but they've never had a chance to bond in person and form a community in concert.

This is the gap wondrously, almost magically, filled by the Boston-based BoRoCo with Project Eno, a nine-piece band (plus two dancers) that packed the 608 club Friday for two shows (two sets each show) scored with all things Eno. Fifteen songs played live and full on - to recorded perfection, actually - with various prerecorded Eno ambient/instrumental tracks played before and between sets with accompanying abstract video by the local Sensory Overload Pictures.

Project Eno, with Eno's vocals mostly handled by Peter Moore and Gene Dante, hit its marks time after time, beginning with the frenetic rhythm-guitar tour de force ''King's Lead Hat'' and closing with ''Third Uncle'' (just as frantic) and ''Taking Tiger Mountain,'' with its calming melody mutating into a ferocious free-for-all thrash and dancers Mindy Vela and Kelly McDermott unleashing a sexy storm. (Eno subtext: sex.)

It was a night where wicked wit and wordplay - ''Splish slash/I was raking in the cash!'' - were welded to killer guitar riffs and set in the context of once-radical rock 'n' roll that now seems much more part of the landscape. Still, to hear and see it played out - with Moore and Dante sporting glammy gold lame smocks - brought a very pleasant shock to the system. The quiet, sensual ''By This River'' segued into the chaotic, nihilistic ''Blank Frank,'' with Dante drawing pictures on a blank slate and Moore furiously rubbing them out, negating all. ''Baby's on Fire,'' the climax of the first set, was a thinking person's ballistic barrage - the baby in question being reduced to ashtray remnants that are then pocketed and collected by her tranquil, but evil, suitor, and the guitarists just ripping.

T Max, Glenn Hughes, and Crazy Eddie Nowik expertly wove the layered guitar tracks into one Eno-esque fabric - melodic, alluring, flirting with dissonance and destruction. The percussionists, Tamora Gooding and Shawn Marquis, were dead-on, and the singers appropriately arch or animated. This troupe, called ONE (Eno backwards), understands the complex yet trashy glory of Eno and channels it superbly: a mix of reverence and irreverence, played to the max.


This story ran on page B8 of the Boston Globe on 7/15/2002.
Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

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