The Squid's Ear Magazine

Sharp, Elliott / Eric Mingus: Songs from a Rogue State (zOaR Records)

Extending their collaborations with this project that blurs rock, experimental and improvised forms in a very Downtown NY way, Elliott Sharp performing on guitars, analog synth & drums machines joins with Eric Mingus on bass and primary vocals, with Doug McKenzie providing drums samples and loops, for a set of insightful, incisive, extraordinary songs.

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product information:

UPC: 755491253816

Label: zOaR Records
Catalog ID: ZCD 119
Squidco Product Code: 32536

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold In Plastic Sleeve
Recorded at Studio zOar, in NYC, in July, August, September, 2022; Lost Realm Studio, in New Mexico; and Silver Cord Studio, in NYC.


Eric Mingus-voice, vocal arrangements, electric upright bass, electric bass

Elliott Sharp-electric guitar, 12 string guitar, baritone guitar, console steel guitar, baritone guitar, electric bass, 8 string bass, analog synthesizers, drum programming

Don McKenzie-drum samples, loops

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Mingus and Sharp have collaborated on a dizzying array of projects ranging from country blues to the outer limits. This incarnation of the duo has produced an album of electrifying and electrifed songs about life in one of the world's largest rogue states."-zOar

"Elliott Sharp: composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, author, leads Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics and Terraplane with compositional strategies including fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors as well as new techniques for graphic notation to yield work that catalyzes a synesthetic approach to musicmaking as well as functioning as retinal art.

Mingus and Sharp collaborate on a dizzying array of projects ranging from country blues to the outer limits. This incarnation of the duo has produced an album of electrifying and electrified songs about life in one of the world's largest rogue states.

One might think Mingus and Sharp have a message and one might be correct. But the message isn't simple sloganeering or even an outpouring of rage even though they're transmitting from a place deep inside a land know for hypocritical posturing, corporate warmongering, fear, terror, and too many guns as well as great joy, love, and creative energy. It's a complex stew of thoughts, emotions, poetics, and humor, both in the sonics and the words. This is post-industrial post-rock, post-bop post-rap post-blues or maybe just a set of new songs."-Andrea Aguzzi, NeuGuitars

Get additional information at Neuguitars

Artist Biographies

"b. 8 July 1964, New York City, New York, USA. The son of the legendary jazz bass player, Charles Mingus, he too plays bass. For some years he worked as a session musician and backing singer, playing on dates with artists such as Carla Bley, Bobby McFerrin and Karen Mantler. When performing in his own right, Mingus' work displays a politically aware and somewhat rebellious streak reminiscent of his father although in a different genre. In many of the songs he performs, some of which he also writes, he confronts issues that still detrimentally affect Black and mixed-race Americans. At the end of the 90s, Mingus' reputation began to spread overseas, owing in part to an appearance in England at the Meltdown Festival, during which he performed at London's Royal Festival Hall."

-All Music (

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"Elliott Sharp is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer.

A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City for over 30 years, Elliott Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno music. He leads the projects Carbon and Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics, and Terraplane and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction.

His collaborators have included Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt; pop singer Debbie Harry; Ensemble Modern; Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Kronos String Quartet; Ensemble Resonanz; cello innovator Frances Marie Uitti; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; pipa virtuoso Min-Xiao Feng; jazz greats Jack deJohnette, Oliver Lake, and Sonny Sharrock; multimedia artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jajouka.

Sharp is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2014 Fellow at Parson's Center for Transformative Media. He received the 2015 Berlin Prize in Musical Composition from the American Academy in Berlin. He has composed scores for feature films and documentaries; created sound-design for interstitials on The Sundance Channel, MTV and Bravo networks; and has presented numerous sound installations in art galleries and museums. He is the subject of a new documentary "Doing The Don't" by filmmaker Bert Shapiro."-Elliott Sharp

-Elliott Sharp website (

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"Don McKenzie (born June 28, 1974 in Brooklyn, New York) is a drummer known to many through his tenure with Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, in the band Masque. Reid the founder and leader of Masque has described its music as: "the place where rock, jazz, hip-hop and technology meet." When asked for his views on McKenzie's drumming, Reid says "His sense of pocket is very firm. I've always been fortunate to work with great drummers, like Marlon Browden and Ronald Shannon Jackson and Will Calhoun. Don is right up there at that level." McKenzie has also played with multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer Elliott Sharp, who says that: "Don McKenzie not only has the hands to play deep-pocket hip-hop and rock grooves, hard-hitting and asymmetrical jazz flavors, a la Tony Williams, and light-fingered sonic abstractions; most importantly, he has the ears to turn his authoritative gestures into music." Other artists McKenzie has played with includes Pharoahe Monch, New Kingdom, Sweetback, Martin Luther, Marc Ribot, The Persuaders, Mr. Complex, DJ Spinna, Cody Chestnutt, and jazz legend Roswell Rudd.

McKenzie's first instrument was guitar, but at the age of six he switched to drums. McKenzie's playing has a strong grounding in music theory and technique and for a period of time was a student of Everett Collins, who played with The Isley Brothers.

Keyboardist/singer Leon Gruenbaum, who has worked with Don on a number of projects (including his own Math Camp), notes that: "Don is a total powerhouse who can play in any style. He never overplays, instead allowing his extremely solid groove to provide a bed on which other musicians can feel completely comfortable to express themselves." For the latest Vernon Reid and Masque album, Other True Self, McKenzie composed Kizzy, inspired by a close friend."

-Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias (

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Track Listing:

1. This Is a Message 5:40

2. Don't Go Near the Water 5:25

3. What They Want 6:10

4. Loaded with Dread 5:42

5. Say Nothing 6:15

6. Tongue of the Shaman 7:29

7. Anger 6:36

8. Peace 5:35

9. He Didn't Come Back 5:33

Related Categories of Interest:

Rock and Related
Improvised Music
Improvised Rock
Song Based Music
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Duo Recordings
New in Rock Forms
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