Untying the Not

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
After releasing a mammoth 40 live recordings from their 2002 tour, String Cheese Incident is back in the studio with easily the finest moment they have ever committed to tape in this environment. On Untying the Not, SCI erases the perception that the only thing they are capable of as a band is playing long, wonderfully intricate, transcendent jams rooted in songs in a live setting. SCI are also fine songwriters, and virtually everything here attests to the fact that they have attained not only new inner wisdom as a band when it comes to writing tunes, but in recording them as well. The gorgeous, warm, gooey, organic, and spacious sound producer Youth yes, formerly of Killing...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
After releasing a mammoth 40 live recordings from their 2002 tour, String Cheese Incident is back in the studio with easily the finest moment they have ever committed to tape in this environment. On Untying the Not, SCI erases the perception that the only thing they are capable of as a band is playing long, wonderfully intricate, transcendent jams rooted in songs in a live setting. SCI are also fine songwriters, and virtually everything here attests to the fact that they have attained not only new inner wisdom as a band when it comes to writing tunes, but in recording them as well. The gorgeous, warm, gooey, organic, and spacious sound producer Youth yes, formerly of Killing Joke and formerly known as Martin Glover weaves around the band's compositions updates its sounds without artifice or gimmick. Contrast two of the five instrumentals all sequenced in a row, bridging the album's two themes from search to acceptance, the futuristic, deep-space, jazzy funk of "Mountain Girl," with the Appalachian balladry of "Elijah," where Michael Kang's strings and Kyle Hollingsworth intertwine intimately, becoming a kind of modern day Stephen Foster melody rooted in the grain of the land itself. On the vocal cuts, Billy Nershi's "Wake Up" is one of the more poetic and sophisticated lyrics out there, as he offers a practical view of everyday awareness of not only oneself but one's surroundings. It's a Zen track for an un-Zen time. The crunchy guitars and Rhodes piano as they contrast with the Wurlitzer and funky backbeat underscored by Keith Moseley's bass are positively infectious. Elsewhere, such as on the two collaborations with futuristic visionary John Perry Barlow, though, syncopated rock bends into droning sonics in overdrive as the lyric offers yet another view of awakening. "Just Passin' Through" uses Indian percussion and ambient guitarscapes to coax an acoustic into the fore where words about the transitory nature of life and how it exists in the body like a bubble in water are both tender and poetic. Ultimately, Untying the Not, is a deeply spiritual record. From its opening tracks to the tough, visionary, instrumentals to the economically rendered lyrics that stand on their own as poetry to the stunning inner poster by artist Alex Gray, it points to a moving and reflective stance on everyday life. It's interesting that this entire disc feels like it was influenced by Richard Linklater's film Waking Life. Untying the Not is a stream of white light making its way into the darkened corner that has become our culture. Full of possibility, fascination, delight, and stunningly beautiful music, this is arguably the defining moment -- thus far -- in SCI's catalog, live or studio.
Entertainment Weekly - Michael Endelman
These hooks will stick with you longer than a contact high. (B+)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/23/2003
  • Label: Sci Fidelity Records
  • UPC: 662102101520
  • Catalog Number: 1015
  • Sales rank: 83,714

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wake Up (5:46)
  2. 2 Sirens (5:07)
  3. 3 Looking Glass (5:44)
  4. 4 Orion's Belt (2:50)
  5. 5 Mountain Girl (4:57)
  6. 6 Lonesome Road Blues (1:24)
  7. 7 Elijah (2:41)
  8. 8 Valley of the Jig (4:03)
  9. 9 Tinder Box (4:24)
  10. 10 Just Passing Through (4:46)
  11. 11 Who Am I? (4:23)
  12. 12 Time Alive (5:11)
  13. 13 On My Way (3:02)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The String Cheese Incident Primary Artist
Michael Travis Percussion, Drums, Vocals, Group Member
Kenny Brooks Saxophone, Guest Appearance
Chet Helms Spoken Word, Guest Appearance
Michael Kang Mandolin, Violin, Vocals, Group Member
Keith Moseley Bass, Harmonica, Vocals, Group Member
Bill Nershi Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Slide Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Group Member
Kyle Hollingsworth Synthesizer, Piano, Accordion, Hammond Organ, Vocals, Mellotron, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer, Group Member
Carolyn Garcia Spoken Word, Guest Appearance
Gary The Cab Driver Spoken Word, Guest Appearance
Michael Gosney Spoken Word, Guest Appearance
Julia Buterfly Hill Spoken Word, Guest Appearance
April Itzaina Spoken Word, Guest Appearance
Richard MacLaury Spoken Word, Guest Appearance
Rock Raffa Spoken Word, Guest Appearance
Technical Credits
Youth Arranger, Producer, Engineer, Artwork
Mississippi Joe Callicott Composer
John Perry Barlow Composer
Clive Goddard Engineer
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Rail Jon Rogut Digital Editing
Michael Travis Arranger, Composer
Mike Cresswell Digital Editing
The String Cheese Incident Arranger
Michael Kang Arranger, Composer
Keith Moseley Arranger, Composer
Bill Nershi Arranger, Composer
Kyle Hollingsworth Arranger, Composer
Traditional Composer
Alex Grey Cover Art
Youth Arranger, Producer
Adam Pickard Engineer
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