Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Review -- COELACANTH DANCE -- Sonic Excursions and Audio Spasms

Coelacanth Dance
Crying Fish Music
Sit back for an amazing musical journey as you start to spin Sonic Excursions and Audio Spasms from Regina's uniquely named Coelacanth Dance.This is another one of a growing number of one-man CD efforts that seem to be popping up in the musical field.In this case the man behind the music is Steve McDonnell. He basically provides all the guitars, bass, keyboards, drum programming/percussion. The CD is recorded at Crying Fish Studio in Regina, which again is McDonnell's baby. He even did the CD design, right down to its fantastical artwork. So it's pretty clear this is an effort that is near and dear to the creator's heart. Sometimes when you get a deeply personal album it simply means the writer/musician is flogging something no one else would touch. In this case Coelacanth Dance is a name you should associate with fine music.The sound is strongly electronica influenced, although on a cut like the opening Gumbo Lounge there is a jazz feel that pops through the musical veil quite often.That splash of jazz is something you hear several times here.At other times McDonnell slows the music down, such as on Rain Dreams, and you end up with a relaxed, melodic musical experience, filled with dream moods. A key here is that McDonnell borrows a trick from the best of jazz, and serves up long pieces that allow larger musical tapestries. The shortest work among the eight cuts logs in at 4:37, with five eclipsing six minutes, the longest; Karma Zone at 11:11.This is a relaxing musical effort, one that can provide a nice background to a small gathering, or simply be enjoyed any day you need to chill. It's a good vibes CD.Check it out at

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov. 26, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada


ztevefish said...

Thank you for the positive and well written review Calvin. I should point out that the music on this CD is now & has been performed live with the 6-7 member live version of CoelacanthDance at various venues around Regina and hopefully in the near future, across Canada next summer.

For lots more info as to what the band has been up to lately, the best place is the official site @: Also, one of the tracks - 'KarmaZone' from the CD has been selected for inclusion on the Progressive Rock Hall of Fames's 1st compilation CD - 'SoundScapes Vol. 1, due out soon. Our live video performance of this piece, recorded @ McNally's Tavern in Regina, Nov 2007, won 1st place for the September 2008 competition on

Steve 'The Fish' McDonnell
aka CoelacanthDance

m. hammond chapeau said...

This band, um, er, guy, is superb! Why the confusion? In the city that rhymes with f-u-n, the real thing is the live band...smoking! Yet, to take home the braintrust behind the smoke on a disc, well, a 7.5 is at the least a good start on the assessment process, and probably not too expensive these days.

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