The Ex – “Maybe I Was the Pilot” b/w “Leaky Homes” 7” (Ex)

Now past their thirtieth year of activism, only the Fall comes close, conceptually, to the racket stirred up by the Ex, a shifting assortment of Dutchfolk and one Scotsman, living the dream that anarchy in a cultivated environment can afford. They are responsible, even if many won’t cop to it, for any sort of Turkish or Roma influence (and cowbell) in this side of music, and the band’s globetrotting activities include the awareness brought to outfits like Konono No. 1, with whom the band collaborated on an African tour, and whose street performances took the form of viral video in the moment just before YouTube launched. Longtime vocalist G.W. Sok has exited the role of vocalist, so only Andy Moor and Terrie Ex carry over from heritage lineups and past decades. He’s replaced by Arnold de Boer, whose voice provides some measure of relaxation against the shrill klaxon of Sox’s lyrical enunciation. For a band with so many edged surfaces in their sound, de Boer’s presence doesn’t necessarily soften them up so much as it allows an easier connection with the audience. Their frenetic nature is of course still intact, and they continue to serve as a prime example of what you can do when you love music, and discover that free will and compassionate action on the world around you don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Look for a new album this fall. (
(Doug Mosurock)

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