David Balatero

Operation ID - Trapped

Seeming to emerge fully-formed from a vibrating string—an innocuous guitar doppler—“Trapped” (in the center of the earth, perhaps?) builds momentum steadily, deftly careening through a series of cartoonish set pieces. From zany prog-jazz, to lyrical string-laden passages reminiscent of klezmer, to triumphal half-time rock, complete with electric guitar solos, “Trapped” seesaws between dreamy exploration and sugar-rush catharsis. Finally, we’re deposited with a gentle bump at the end, feeling like we’ve just been taken on a tour of a particularly demented solar system.The second track, “Stop, Drop, ‘n’ Roll Doesn’t Work in Hell,” emerges from a primordial murk of textural free improv. A bass figure morphs into an almost fugal motif that reappears and tansforms as the piece evolves. The song’s title and lyrics were derived from a slogan on a church magnet board, and indeed we seem to be taken on a Dantesque journey through purgatory and out the other side. Descending, descending at the beginning, then buoyed by a mischievous chorus, ghostly vocals guide us through a graveyard of sound, until at last our hero rallies, rocketing through a gauntlet of 5/4 time to reach the freedom and daylight on the surface—jetting off from there into the intergalactic sunset.