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Jazz From Hell by Frank Zappa
Released: Nov 1986
Jazz From Hell is quite possibly the oddest record in Zappa's oeuvre. And that's because it's so normal (hey, it snagged the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance). Then again, this normalcy is somewhat deceptive. What we have here (on the surface level, anyway) is a synth-fusion album: cold, clean, precise. Yet these tunes are utterly maddening in their pinprick aggression (like an acupuncturist turned sadist). Get a load of the proto-IDM melodies and stuttering rhythms on "While You Were Art II" and "Damp Ankles" and how they never stop dissolving, reforming, then dissolving again.
Justin Farrar
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