Dr Glam: Glitter Spreader
By Bing Turkby
In an era of genre-mashing, Dunedin academic Dr Glam has managed to push boundaries in a different direction by melding a visual idea with a musical one. Your ears hear freaky space-funk-lounge but your eyes see androgynous space rock. The CD sounds great (and why not, with such a luminary cast of jazz players?), but it was when watching the DVD that everything started to make sense - by not making any sense. The spectacle of a Dr Glam performance is as much a visual phenomenon as it is aural. Dr Glam plays his unusual instrument the hang drum with panache and real skill. An instrument that's both percussive and melodic, he launches himself at it in all his sparkly finery and it pours forth a torrent of notes like whalesong from Jupiter. What is the hang drum? Picture a kettle drum/gamelan and you might get an inkling. The Doctor's solo hang drum compositions are very tuneful, and the ensemble numbers are full of energy and unusual textures, like a jazzier Mr Sterile Assembly. Next time Dr Glam plays in your galaxy, be sure to beam yourself onboard.