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ByProduct by ByProduct

One wonders why they call themselves ByProduct. If someone called me a ‘by-product’, I’d probably look them straight in the eye and say, oh yeah? By-product is by definition something derived from another and connotes perhaps vaguely offensive. It sounds like something industrial that you don’t want to be exposed to. It’s possibly toxic, but it’s like an insult that you can’t quite figure out.

Is it a spin-off or an offshoot or a derivation or an outgrowth or even a descendent of something that remains unknown? I can’t tell. The album title also goes by way of "ByProduct." A spin-off of the blues? Possibly. BeBop? Not really. Free jazz? Maybe it doesn’t matter and maybe I shouldn’t care to pursue it. Hey, it’s just a name, get over it.

Overcoming the rather unusual name and unctuous title, the music comprises of a straightforward trio of bass, drums and reeds with an occasional use of electronic music. The music is inoffensive enough, but there are few emotional sparks. And it’s not particularly heady, intricate music either. As a result, there is a general feeling of overall malaise. Not much really happens so it’s hard to get worked up any which way. In fact, it’s hard even to get a read on a mood. It’s not even ugly or disturbing which at least would be interesting. It feels like clutter. It’s a by-product of something or other.

"ByProduct" does have some moments. ‘88’ begins with an interesting diversion of electronic chatter with a rhythmic theme but then it simply meanders as if losing its train of thought until it returns to the original theme. And there is the promising ‘Holden’s Fall’ parts of which are simply pretty in the wilderness. It at least gets close to some raw emotion. But still, it feels distant and uninvolved. ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ is a great name for a tune. It has flashes of clarity of purpose but suffers from low attention span. Maybe that is the malady of being young. ‘Appalachian Theme’ has a taste of uncertain but graceful wistfulness in its primary theme. But there is hardly a connection to Appalachia that I could discern. It’s just a by-product of Appalachia.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: ByProduct
  • CD Title: ByProduct
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: ByProduct
  • Tracks: Nature Seen, Appalachian Theme, Scooby Sax, Lana, 88, Three Sections, Future Girl, Holden’s Fall, Quarter Life Crisis
  • Musicians: Chet Doxas (reeds & electronics), Zack Lober (double bass), Jim Doxas (drums)
  • Rating: One Star
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