Fareed Haque & MathGames 12.2.11

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man
Audio By Corey Sandoval
(Kind Recordings)

Denver is spoiled. Musically, its flooded. Friday night would further reinforce that notion, as it was Fareed Haque and MathGames' third or fourth time at Quixote's in 2011. The previous shows featured Ray White (Frank Zappa) and a funkier experience. That Friday brought MathGames in the form of their original trio with Greg Fundis on drums and Alex Austin on bass. Though the turn out was dismal, those in attendance were treated to an intimate evening of in-your-face jazz and space exploration.

The tones and staggering sustain of Fareed's Moog Guitar resonated throughout the near vacant building. It was interesting to see those who were in the know turn out that night. Some of the folks who work on the scene perpetuating the music turned out to support and document the experience. Corey Sandoval of Kind Recordings turned out, as he often does when Fareed is in town to tape/capture the experience. Also present were Jhonette Purde and Brian Rempel of BiggerGuy Productions to video the evenings affairs.

Math Games Live at Quixote's True Blue on December 2, 2011.

We situated ourselves towards the back of the venue where we drank and sat comfortably watching the show. Pete Wall (Motet) and Fleeb Thomas (Octopus Nebula) sat with us watching Fareed manhandle his instrument... scratch that, guitar. By the second song, Fareed was already calling for Pete to join MathGames on stage and join them he did. Pete eased his way into the material with some steady riffs and fills before releasing some of his signature destruction.

Fareed leaned his head back as he tore through modal progression on the guitar. He exchanged licks with Pete on the second song before the sky fell in and Pete went into a Coltrane like frenzy. I found myself clutching the bar with a look of absolute terror on my face. This is what I had come to hear.

With Pete's exit from the stage came a mellowing of energy. MathGames dug deep into some darker compositions. Fundis really impressed me on the kit. His ability to go from zero to sixty at the drop of a dime and keep up with Fareed was fantastic. Same can be said about Alex Austin. His range of ability and his capacity to not only keep up with, but challenge Fareed was enjoyable to watch.

When setbreak came, I stepped backstage to speak with the band a bit. The energy was mellow and seemed to match the energy of Quixote's that night. After a short period of relaxation, MathGames returned to the stage for set number two.

The set began as calmly as it ended, but slowly began to gain momentum and build. MathGames explored what felt like the outer realm of our solar system with deep space style jazz. At points the music was danceable and almost had a jamtronica/jazztronica vibe. At other points in the set the music had a rock style feel. Regardless of the genres being explored, I was enjoying everything that MathGames was putting out.

Fareed Haque's MathGames is one of those lesser know bands that will blow your mind. They will take you to space on the rocket that is your mind, lose you in deep space only to reel you in with the gravity that is their groove...


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