Tom Yeager - Songbird Sanctuary Houston, Texas
ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS“It’s a winner. So, a tip of the hat and a bow from the waste to you.”
Music News Review of "Pioneer" Feb. 1983
With the release of his new album, "Pioneer the Step Child of Mother Nature and Father Time", Gus Buzbee has finished an interesting adventure into musical art. He has spent a long three years and 1400 hours on this project, which he describes as a totally artistic venture. Gus Buzbee is owner and operator of Wooden Studios here in Houston and is more than qualified for his role on this project.
The album deals with the 20th Century man. It starts out with an infantile
scream, which is incidentally was done by Gus's baby daughter when she was
only three days old. The story aspect picks up with the idea that nothing really
changes on the emotional level. Our reasoning changes, but we still about the
same on the emotional level. Song by song the theme progresses from school
type situations into a sexual development and then into a more intellectual
involvement with metaphysical type things and relating that to the music. At
the end is the song "Remembering the 20th Century Man" which deals
with the mental changes and the way man approaches any given ideal.
He is able to give one this illusion with his special style of music. The music doesn't really sound all like the music now, but more like it could have actually have been written a hundred hears from now. Perhaps it could also be a view of future music from the present.
Another thing about this album is that there were no synthesizer used at all. This is where Gus Buzbee is making his mark. He performs all synthesizer sounds with guitar using sophisticated Digital Delays to change the perception of time, pitch and phase, thus giving new dimension to his sound. Throughout the album Gus Buzbee paints a picture of ambiance and texture.
With the new musical process that Gus Buzbee presents on this album and the content he demonstrates, he will surely attract a cult-following if not indeed strong national following.
For a glimpse into the present from the future, one should definitely go out and get a copy of this album. It demonstrates that there are definitely no bound for the guitarist of the future.
Public News Review of "Pioneer" -
Interview/ Gus Buzbee
Long ago I saw the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey--twice, and, like an average movie-goer, I didn't understand the ending. So when Gus Buzbee says his recently released album takes up from were the movie left off, he abandons me in the company of one big question mark.
To try to understand and enjoy Buzbee's album, Pioneer, the Stepchild of Mother Nature and Father Time, A person must suspend her discomfort with lack of understanding, and simply, sort of, appreciate.
Buzbee is a Houston studio owner (Wooden Studio) who spent more than 1400 hours with a set of volunteer musicians recording this strange, highly symbolic work that is sort of a rock opera about mankind. The album inaugurates what he thinks will become his "industrial trademark", a synthesizer-like sound, developed through the recording system.
"Pioneer" ...alternates in a scale of about three notes, and charters human existence from birth in the song "So Much Space" To something like transfer to a new dimension in "Remember the 20th Century Man."
Possibly the album's most interesting tunes are the above two, because they are interwoven with non-musical recordings, a suctionlike heartbeat opens "So Much Space" followed by a babies crying, then a burst of vibrant guitar. The last song ends dramatically with a recording from the NASA moonlanding.
Musically the sound of the albums is pressured and paced, reminding me of the Who's Quadraphenia, but interesting when heard through headphones, the glittering guitar, tubular bells and drums bouncing back and forth teasing your ears.
For Buzbee, interviewed in his studio in Southwest Houston, Pioneer is both a personal statement and ironically a possible means of attaining his admitted goal of commercial cult, if not mass market success. In his master plan, Buzbee's fame evolves from a hard-core local group of fans to long-lasting regional culthood. To attraction comparable to Frank Zappa's few persistent fans living in each town.
Asked how he planed to make the money, Buzbee noted " I own a studio. That makes it easier, anyway." He estimated he spent $75,000 for the hours in his own studio to make " Pioneer", which might have cost as much as $140,000 in someone else's studio or $ 250,000 with a major label which all ways wants " your arm, your leg and your firstborn."
" I've released it nationally to all the album oriented stations," He
said, referring to a huge stack of manila wrapped albums on his studio desk,
1000 copies of "Pioneer". Hitting radio stations and the media, I
may be able to get leverage for more distribution. If that doesn't work I'll
go to the banks."
Five days after his recent record release party, Buzbee has sold 150 copies. To break even and " Be in the ballpark to make money." He estimates he must sell about 11,000.
The musician avoided revealing much about his guitar method that imitates the synthesizer sound, saying only that it was a "system of time related delays using digital and complex delays." The lyrics. Except for the last song, he first wrote on a long piece of paper and "asked myself if it could be a musical idea" before he condensed it for the album.
"Remember the 20th Century Man" was constructed in a five minute inspiration and remains almost unchanged from the start.
"We rehearsed the tunes for about six months, then the drummer was going to leave so we cut all the major instruments. I went back and erased everything but most of the drums and piano tracks, then pieced it together again. When all the music was together, I cut the lyrics by myself, while working the buttons. 60% of the style was not there when we started."
As a new musician, Buzbee admits he has a lot going against him, but perseverance made a first album possible and perseverance can work again.
Public News Review of "Buzbee Cimpson and Haake." Video Feb. 1989
Richard Tuthill 's "Low Spark" column
Currently on Access Houston TV is Gus Buzbee Buzbee's new video titled "Buzbee Cimpson and Haake." It's a striking departure from last year' Guitar Wizard," with the emphasis on electric guitar this time out. The video was filmed live in front of tons of strangely appropriate stock footage. It had a spacey feel to go with the jazz/psychedelic bent of the music. Buzbee's chops here are exciting, but I couldn't help but wish for the definition the tunes might have had with the vocals. This could be one of the best local videos on Access.
Hot Wax Part II: The Video June 21, 1989 Tracks Public New
"Buzbee Cimpson and Haake, Guitar Wizard" Buzbee is indeed a guitar
wizard and cleverly markets his good. Both videos and three audio tapes are
available for sale. Guitar Wizard places heavy emphasis on Buzbee's prowess
on the six and 12 string guitar. The video features a power jazz trio playing
in front of rear screened aerial footage of shifting landscapes. The video
is reminiscent of early Pink Floyd films, as the landscape mixes well with
the fusion soundtrack.