The Space Between

by Chemystry Set

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about

The follow-up to “Life in the Underground”, “The Space Between” celebrates the growing of seeds and the evolution of life with an uplifting soul journey through themes of community, activism and transformation. An edgy jazzy world groove provides the musical canvas to effusive storytelling, creating a rich texture of multi-stylistic peregrinations. Featuring soul singer Krystle Jones (SF Funk Allstars). Recorded on 2 inch reel-to-reel by avant-garde maverick Oliver DiCicco. Acrylic on canvas cover by Matt Ritchie.

The Story:
...as the travelers emerged from underground after a long and root-strewn journey, and unbound, wide-open sky revealed itself around them like the next move in a squareless chess game. Still beleaguered by the haunting subterranean images of mankind's capacity to control and manipulate, the prospects of unlimited possibilty almost seemed frightening, too far away, and too good to be true. Slowly it dawned on them that they had become part of their surroundings, thus shaped the turf they had only intended to walk under, and in the process been taken captive by only one slice of reality. It was time to open up the sky, eat the whole magical pie, and slip into the space between...

credits

released September 14, 2001

Brian Fishler - Drums
Avidan Rose - Percussions, Vibraphone
Joel Oppenheimer - Bass
Sven Eberlein - Guitars, Vocals
Baba Ndjhoni - Mandolins, Vocals
Krystle Jones - Vocals
Greg Carney - Guitar

From the Spaces between
Ben Harris - Trumpet
Nicole Polisner - Flute
Bob Athayde - Piano
Scott Johnston - Soprano Sax
Dave Jacobson - Wurlitzer Piano

All songs arranged by Chemystry Set
Horn arrangements by Ben Harris & Baba Ndjhoni

recorded, mixed and mastered starting on the Summer Solstice 2000 at Möbius Studio in San Francisco, CA by Oliver DiCicco

produced by Chemystry Set
cover art by Matt Ritchie
design and layout by Wendy Rogell

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about

Chemystry Set San Francisco, California

Musicianship tight as an atom, music wild and roaming as the imagination of the unknown. It’s like everything and nothing I’ve ever heard, a screaming reminder that rock is rebellion and must be reinvented each time it’s played, or else it’s just pop.

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Track Name: Mwela Wa Mwanami
Mwela wa mwanami Current of my child
mwela udi wa shandji the current is like father
mucheche, wa inandji a little bit; like mother
mucheche. Inoko uno a little. But this
mwela mukatakata udi strong current is
wandji mukatampe her own for the most part.
i ka? wituhela? What's this? You refuse us?
eeyo. Yes.
i ka? usakwifunda? What's this? You want to teach yourself
mwana amba: eeyo. The child sez yes.
i mwanda wa ka? Why do this?
i mwanda wa bakulutuba. It's for the ancestors.
i mwanda wa ka? Why do this?
i mwanda wa bantu bakaya It's for all those who play.
a balunda, twelaimo to friends, welcome.
kibelo kya njibo i kishitulwe the door is wide open.
inoko, a bukomo, obe but, to those in power, you,
nsapula: mukatombé I foresee that you will fall.
Track Name: Magical Pie
High, let me show you the sky,
take a peak through the crack in the frame,
at the sun and the wind and the rain.
You know you've been there before, the 99th floor,
looking down on the spinning wheels, do you know how it feels.
Free, the way it could be,
take a ride through the streamin' air, let it blow through your hair;
and the sound, the sound of your voice,
a line to the favorite source, let the music take its course.
Try, the magical pie,
take a sweet and lingering bite, let it turn on your light;
and when you think you have seen, the space between,
mark it down on the map of your life,
let it sift through the pile and wait till the answer arrives.
Why, always ask why,
take a bow to the things you've learned, and let the world be turned;
and if you hear my good-bye, let it fly,
turn your tears into bottles of rain,
shake 'em up for they will never be the same again.
Track Name: Sounds From Underground
Through the wall we go and there ain't no coming back,
forgotten lies the shadow of our soul.
Losing count of all the places we have been,
and nothing will ever be the same.
Come you diggers and you fighters break the chains, put it on the line; through the sunlight and through the pouring rain,
there's nothing left but time to reclaim.
From the center of what seemed like life beneath,
a fading glimpse of darkness filled the air;
and though rays of light suggested that we leave,
the sounds of underground we'll always share.
Come on shakers after all that you have done, break the rotten pile.
Feel the maker of another path and run, just another while till you're on
Track Name: Tread That Atmosphere
Adji's got the magic tin of elemental spices,
Yoga for the tongue and gut, a badji trance suffices.
Nourishing generation clarity, she feeds the seed.
Suspended in the comfort fluid, tethered to the side;
growing up from magma love, everything provided.
Don't lose that weightless gravity, little magpie.
She journeys out on the current of her maman's drone;
suddenly, the weight is great; she falls into our hands, alone.
You've left mid-soup, to bob along the shores.
I carry them up to get them back during one of their transitions;
stand at the edge and fill your heart with the mountain winds.
Lifted, you're at the source of purest life force.
Tread that atmosphere, just give some conscious attention.
Take a leap of faith and float on the spores of intuition,
leaking all over, from the space between.
Went out to see the ethereal glenn spearman double trio.
The drummer, like magpie, was playing in quadrastereo,
each hand, each foot, paddling through the absolute.
I took their lesson to my dying time,
released from the gravity of this world, I float supine.
Suspended through the portal; beyond, the soup.
Track Name: Chestnuts
Flow is on the rise,
far beyond surprise;
shine is in your eyes,
so be gone when the eagle flies.
Sound has filled the air;
look around, you are everywhere;
what you found is still out there;
so good-bye, take good care.
Walk on, don't give it up, cause love is on the run.
Lies appear to be signs of harmony in times of hierarchy,
So look out there is much to see.
You know what to do, when truth is falling through;
find the missing clue;
take a ride, it's all up to you.
Walk on, don't give it up, cause love is on the run.
Track Name: Mwanda Wa SIDA
If you got it, I got it too.
And If you got it, then we all do through and through.
Some might try to deny it, so I'll paint a view.
You say the difference between us is like day and night.
But that's just a couple of hours, and if you think about it,
The difference is slight.
With the difference between death and life
just a certain kind of penetration.
The impotent rage that I direct a others,
same as me, is exactly my frustration.
We tend to not bend. We tend to marginalize
the few and the far betwixt.
It's so easy to whip whoever has already taken to many licks.
It's time that we heal the sick.
Franco et son OK Jazz
Sang a song as no other one has,
Informing of the drama of AIDS,
Bringin' us into concert,
His compassion never fades.
Bamaman moke baye. Bataata toke baye.
Gibran says within us each lies the greatest evil and the greatest good.
So we can stop our pointing fingers, see it's all common ground.
Turn around what misunderstood.
With these thoughts as context,
you might still say this song is not my place,
or flat out reject my claim that we're all homeless, but for some grace. Perhaps you wouldn't even listen if I was some other race.
Drop that pick up this; find a way to erase
and then replace with the thought that we've all got to embrace.
Got to get some lifeside manner.
Track Name: Sentinel Species
There are those among us who are always on the watch
whether they want to be or not.
Listen for the croaking of frog, but he's hopped away on his third leg. Explaining what his allergies meant, intolerant of environment:
"I'm canary for you all."
Sentinel species, wide awake and dying, calling out deliberately;
someone chose us, don't you see, take some responsibility.
Moving pot in bails finally landed Charles in jail,
but he'd freed himself before.
With Julia Butterfly sitting on Luna,
the truth comes into view; you cannot own the world.
Food not Bombs has come to consensus:
free community, no fences; do not lock up the food.
With just a minute to midnight,
I see within my sight the hundredth sentinel...
Track Name: Nkoi Ne Mulunda
I've got a story to tell about two people searching for connection.
Some say that this world is a place of the lost and separation,
but what they lack is direction.
Mulunda, mwana wa Yuma,
was born when his family was with a friend, an august birth.
He was in love with a girl named Nkoi; he knew all of her worth.
Nkoi, she came from another village, but I don't know that name,
but for this story, crossing great distance,
it shouldn't matter 'cause the villages could all be the same.
Nkoi's family taught her bold and strong; they taught her the healing arts. She had fire in hers eyes; she had fire in her heart.
Mulunda told Nkoi of a reoccuring dream he had peopled by a distant kin. He said, "I don't know who or where they are, but without them I don't feel complete within."
Nkoi says, "With my healing powers, I can take you there to meet your missing family."
So she took them on this quest, certain of what the future would be.
Leka Leka Leka. Basakutwela mu buluo.
Baba ba Mwenge. Mwafwaiko.
Moonset over pyramid, Mulunda says, "I think we landed close."
They heard two voices singin' stories, reminding of the Bards of Manolo... They told the women, Rumsey and Guinda,
of the dream they want to realize.
They said, "we know the one you seek.
Go further west, you'll know him form his eyes.....
So, they pass through a garden of wild spring flowers
Where they here footsteps of someone or some other power
They seek to a sign to their destination,
they hope this someone will point the way.
But It's only water lappin' on rocks, inviting them to stay.
Nkoi ne malunda abafika Ku Jabu.
Along their journey they find themselves in another potent place.
Nkoi says, "He's soaked here too. We'll soon be done with this chase."
So they settle down into the relaxing spring water.
Mulunda looked at Nkoi, said he was lucky to have caught her.
When they began anew, before them flew the wildthing Tim.
They never played as hard as they played with him.
He took them swingin' under trees and rollin' up the stairs
He showed them as extra-kind-of-zuberance to while away their cares.
Nkoi ne Malunda abakaya ne Timo.
Just as they we're about to leave friends of Tim arrived for a game
Mulunda gaped the one before him and his dream-kin were the same.
They introduced themselves around.
"I'm Jellybonz, these are my mates."
Applesauce, 'Jamin, Madeliene, Milo, Zoë were along.
"This meeting was in all of our fates." The circle has been closed;
they thanked Nkoi for the visit.
Well, that the ends of this story, or is it?
Nkoi, Mulunda, Applesauce, 'Jamin, Jelly, Madeliene, Milo,+Zoë together Banenanga'mba: Tudi Bonso Bamo Bonka.
Track Name: Real Life
A way of life or just a fad,
the clear blue light and water.
Looking for the stars but the fog was too thick,
can you still stand when there's nothing to say
Is it the end when there's nothing to say,
dreams are dancing with reality,
leaving your body to fly out of the screen.
A giant step through an open door, I followed the sounds of the night.
Then daylight returned to the place I once knew;
can you still stand when questions remain
Is it the end when there's nothing to say,
dreams are dancing with reality,
leaving your body to fly out of the screen.
Track Name: Light
Light, through the darkness to your eyes breaking water.
Light a single source sends a scattered force through the sea up above.
Light bouncing off the ground and all around the shadows.
Light coming down on me through an ancient tree in the sky shifting high.
Drifting down the avenue of light, looking for the gift of sight.
I squint my eyes with all my might, to see a million rays of lyght.
Climbing up the ladder on the trail to leave a big mark.
Searching for the footsteps of a way to flee the dark.
Close my eyes to visualize the dawning of the night,
though made to see I couldn't count the colors of the light.
Hundred million rays of light in the center of my clearest sight, humming.
The deepest sense of mystery in the wake of serendipity, coming.
Floating on a mountain top through the surface of a lucid slot, we're turning.
Lifting covers from the dark till the fire in your eyes is sparked, we're burning.
Light, through the darkness to your eyes breaking water.
Light, bouncing off the ground and all around the shadows.
Track Name: Here Come The New Tide
In the twilight of my mind I can't resist the call
to try and grasp and walk the line but I'm sliding down the hall.
I touch the wall to see it moving but pushed too hard, oh no.
Made the first run for enlightenment, I got so much to tell;
fighting demons that have long been gone but still retained their spell.
I moved the symptoms to the side and saw the light, oh well.
You can't go wrong when you do it right,
you've got to try to see what it's like,
switch the reel make it worth the ride,
hang on to yourself here come the new tide.
Shaken by its revelation I saw the film again,
spun the wheel in new rotations, it wasn't quite the same.
Slightly taken by surprise I closed my eyes, oh woah.
Getting close to resolution, tension filled the air;
lost my faith in a conclusion, too many everywhere;
stole the script to understand, but the story had no end, oh yeah.