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“Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is attributed with the quote ‘The only constant in life is change' and nothing sums up Chip Kinman’s latest creation—or his entire career—quite as well. Like each of Chip’s musical incarnations, The Great Confrontation seemingly has no connection whatsoever to the work that preceded it...unless the listener is savvy enough to spot the deeply buried but always present through lines. “The tracks on this album are wildly alien in every applicable sense of the word. The opener, ‘Let’s Go, Dark Shark’ sets the scene with drippy, space age chirping that slowly degenerates into slo-mo sludge like an astronaut running out of oxygen. ‘Ciao Raggazzi’—not to be confused with Jay And The Americans’ ‘Good Bye Boys, Good Bye (Ciao Raggazzi, Ciao)’ is a derailing train of a song. The vocals are spoken in Italian and presumably, snatches of conversation sampled from a Mafia crime film. ‘Speaking of crimes, Chip murders a couple of standards in cold blood purely for his own amusement. Both are traditional and absolutely unrecognizable. ‘Round About Danny’ is his take on the Irish ballad ‘Danny Boy’, written in 1913 and recorded relentlessly through the years by everyone from Judy Garland to Conway Twitty. The other’s a gospel hymn, ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’, originally performed by The Carter Family in the 1920s. “Imagine both songs sans vocals, filtered through a particle accelerator beam shot by a rogue robot from a 1950’s sci-fi B movie. Then pretend they got reinterpreted by a hippie in a ratty flea market cape who borrowed a Moog synthesizer so he could emulate Rick Wakeman from the prog rock band Yes. The hippie not only had no working knowledge of playing a synthesizer, he was tripping his brains out on Owsley’s premium LSD. “This album is all a huge departure from anything he’s ever done—but for Chip, that’s normal. I’m sure of this because I’ve known him since 1977, witnessing all his musical mutations and in many cases, the sources that inspired him to prolifically create original, cohesive and boundary-pushing sounds. As the old saying goes, what he’s done consistently is often imitated but never replicated.” —Pleasant Gehman