I couldn't begin to tell you the specific ways in which dub/jazz/dance explorers Ka-Boom!Box have used the MC-505 Groove Box and other electronic devices to bend and stretch and masticate the single-take performances that make up their 101-minute new double CD. Suffice it to say that they've used this potent industry favorite (Peaches, M.I.A. and Radiohead are among its fans) with both taste and skill. In some ways, the two tracks that make up the album, "Journey Through Dark Waters" and "Fields of Ice and Snow" (both of which are reworked in ambient versions that appear on the second CD), suggest the brooding, often bass-centric sonic ooze in which producer Bill Laswell's Axiom label has specialized. But the abstracted synths, minimalist dub rhythm tracks and Frank "Bucky" Pope's admirably restrained contributions on guitar also expand that old jazz-meets-electronics canvas.
Indeed, one highly abstract moment on "Fields of Ice and Snow" crossbreeds the soundtrack from The Wizard of Oz with brief snatches of Pope's light jazz chording and a hissing electronic impression of a ride cymbal so deftly that you wonder if Ka-Boom!Box aren't about to make a leap to a new form of aleatory music. Needless to say, that's exciting - especially at a time when many Madison acts seem to be waiting for music scenes in larger urban centers to tell them what to play and how to play it.