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Volta Do Mar

The members of Chicago's Volta Do Mar have more "chops" and composition ideas than they know what to do with, and they're too square to care. This jazz-meets-prog carnival ride isn't built for relaxation, and it's certainly not designed to be cool (members are credited with playing both the five- and six-string bass), but it is extremely infectious. It's hip to be square sometimes; you know they've blown up a chemistry lab or two in their day and their sound could probably hack into the CIA's mainframe if you gave it the opportunity. Volta Do Mar's (Portuguese for "Turn of the Sea, " thanks Pedro) sound is meant to stimulate while pushing the boundaries of what has been and what can be. Obviously well-trained in music theory, the group's members channel their intellect and energy in ways reminiscent of '70s prog rock gods like Yes and King Crimson, as well as newer contributors to instrumental madness -- Don Caballero is clearly a primary influence, as is Tortoise if they doubled the BPMs. Check out Volta Do Mar's fine debut album At The Speed of Light or Day here. The album was recorded in a steel wire processing plant by engineer/producer Mike Lust of Lustre King.

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