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Frank Zappa: Dance Me This

The modern day composer refuses to die.

Officially the 100th album in this polymath’s abundant discography, with posthumous releases now comprising nearly half that figure, this material was the last Zappa was working on right up to his death in 1993.

Entirely Synclavier realised, with the exception of a trio of tracks featuring three members of Huun-Huur-Tu – the Tuvan throat-singing group, it’s typical of Zappa’s later Synclavier work: psychotic rhythmic variation, algorithmic counterpoint, musical (and cognitive) dissonance a go-go.

Challenging, certainly, and far beyond the scope of human performance (yes, even Ensemble Modern) though a certain cohesion can be detected. An impossibly brief and teasing guitar solo on the title track – possibly the last time he ever picked up the instrument – illustrates Zappa’s almost total immersion into avant-garde territory by the end, though of course still informed by his familiar provocative wit. Dance Me This? As if.

Classic Rock 214: New albums A-L