|Hi-Fi Archives: Project:Pimento
"Space Age Love Songs"
Tru Blu Lu Records
San Francisco’s Project:
Pimento is the greatest lounge theremin band out there today. Yes,
there aren’t any other bands to compare them to, but if there were Project:
Pimento would still be the best. Theremin music hasn’t been this
exciting since the late 1940’s when
Samuel J. Hoffman, one
of the greatest theremin players of all time, was doing albums such as
Out of the Moon with Les Baxter. In the time since,
the theremin has been pushed to the back of the pop culture closet used
only for B-grade science fiction and horror films.
Four years ago, Project:
Pimento hit the scene with their debut CD Magical
Moods of the Theremin. Their use of the theremin was a great
way at re-imagining lounge favorites. The haunting and ghostly tones of
this strange electronic instrument complimented the smoky delivery of Lola
Bombay (aka Lori Carsillo) perfectly. It’s been a
while, but the group is back with a new batch of lounge favorites in Space
Age Love Songs. (That's the lovely Lola on the album
Dr. Robby Virus’
theremin playing has become tighter and more nuanced as heard in the Henry
Macini classic “Moon River,” Bond-Theme “You Only Live Twice,”
and the seductive “Close Your Eyes.” Virus does have his share of space-age
fun with the theme to “Barbarella” and has the theremin mimic jungle sound
with “Quiet Village.”
There a great mix of
upbeat numbers, like “One Mint Julep” and “Heart,” and slower lounge and
exotica favorites like “Moon Of Manakoora” and “Walk On By.” Without a
doubt, the highlight of the album is their version of “Fever.” Usually,
most people can’t break away from the Peggy Lee version.
Here Bombay and the rest of the band takes a cue from Lee,
but makes the song their own by playing up the bluesy side.
The best thing about
Pimento is that even though the theremin is their hook, they aren’t
a one-trick pony. This is a solid group of musicians who just happen to
use the unique sounds of the theremin to enhance their music. It’s just
another layer they add onto their already perfectly realized arrangements.
the Project:Pimento Website