Friday, November 12, 2004

Basic Food Group -Statement

Formed in 1993 to explore works composed by guitarist Steve Boyles, The Basic Food Group employs rock trio instrumentation to investigate new combinations of musical genres. Compositions are scored in detail with sections allowed for improvisation. Over time the work is “pureed,” that is, reworked and rearranged by the entire band, with elements of the music scrambled and shuffled, and new influences added. We approach our music as if we were playing electric chamber music, yet each piece might include combinations of Latin, reggae, bop, rock, punk, funk, avant-garde or classical forms. The music has three equal parts, with each instrument playing a different, often non-traditional role. We intend to challenge ourselves and the audience through the twisting of familiar genres into new hybrids.

Basic Food Group -Reviews

Basic Food Group: Three Squares

Monday, February 22, 1999

Label:According To Our Records
Producer: Basic Food Group

Basic food Group is sort of a mixture of jazz, punk, and whatever. At times they remind
me of Zappa, other times they remind me of Primus. Maybe some John Zorn, maybe Bill
Frissel, maybe… something else. But for the most part, they do a really good job of being
themselves. That’s not really an accurate description though, and it’s not going to get you
to buy their record (which I think you should cause it’s a really bitchin’.) So let’s start with
the skinny….

I hear so many influences in this band, I think it’s one of the reasons I like this record so
much. Their guitarist, Steve Boyles, can go from a Mike Keneally vibe to an Alex Lifeson
sound, and not only can carry the melody but adds great deal of color to the music. Sort of
a Bill Frissel kinda thing. Todd Larson does a wonderful job of playing right in the pocket
when he needs to. There’s so much to be said for a bass player who holds everything
together. Rik Sferra (Drums) really does an amazing job holding things in place as
timekeeper. On a project like this it becomes so tempting to play out with the other guys,
Sferra locks in tightly with the bass, keeping the groove together nicely.

The songs range anywhere from punk out bursts, jazz jams, to something I really can’t
describe. The song “Emancipated Women in Bondage” has a really loose feeling to it, sort
of like the whole jam is happening on accident. “Tango Me This” has sort of a
latin/jazz/porno music feel and then turns into something extremely different. “Suburbs
(Revisited)” had sort of an old school Primus vibe, very funky bass with out of tune guitar.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this album was it’s all around intensity.
“Progressive” music doesn’t really lend itself to a punk vibe in most cases. BFG is able to
remaining aggressive and noisy. Various instruments will play on different parts of the beat through a section, making the overall a little tastier. Really what you end up hearing
is a more playful type of musicianship. While some people enjoy listening to technically
demanding performances, you usually end up hearing them on “we take ourselves very
more upbeat mood.

Be all end all … I like this record a lot. The album is a cool and diverse mix of music and
playing styles. If you’re a fan of what can be considered “strange” music contact these
guys and get the record. If you don’t you’re going to be missing out on something really

To order, please send $10 per CD (includes shipping) to:

c/o Rik Sferra
2333 France Ave. S
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

Tid bits from the band:

BFG Brushes w/ Fame:

Steve Boyles- Once had a composition he had written read by the Kronos Quartet.

Todd Larson- Once told Yo-Yo Ma to please stop rehearsing so that they could open the
auditorium doors to let the audience in.

Rik Sferra- Once got the evil eye from Willie Dixon because he wasn't pushing the beat
filling in for Mr. Dixon's regular drummer.

For more info contact: