Carcinogenic Static Carnival funks up Market Hotel. — Photo by John Ruscher
It takes no small effort to put together an 11-person band. There are so many likely scheduling conflicts, so many potential breakdowns in communication. But for Carcinogenic Static Carnival, who played at Market Hotel last Friday, any such problems seemed to have either been deftly avoided or just tossed off in favor the jams.
And part of why Carcinogenic Static Carnival succeeds is because it’s an all-star group of sorts, featuring members of USAISAMONSTER, Talibam, Gwar and more. Their sound is decidedly funkier than those groups, though. An e-mail for the show suggested that the night would feature tunes of Can, James Brown and Sun Ra, but it was better to just soak in the sounds than to try to pinpoint the source of each song.
The group describes themselves as “minimalist funk,” and that’s technically accurate, as each member contributes small, repetitive parts to the larger, rollicking ensemble. But “minimalist” sounds deceiving when it comes to CSC as a whole, because their funk exercises build into quite massive psychedelic avalanches.
Highlights of the night were the five-piece horn section (which included an oboe and baritone horn), the wailing guitar of USAISAMONSTER’s Colin Langenus and impeccable drumming from Matthew Clark. It’ll definitely be worth your time to check these guys out, especially if you are a fan of acts like Sun Ra and Funkadelic or ’70s German krautrock.