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Pray For Brain / Press

"...Inspired and creative music, breathing some new life into the sometimes stodgy world of instrumental progressive rock music. Recommended."

"A sorta-rockabilly line-up but a world music/jazz/progressive music sound...tunes feature time-signature/dynamic changes like 2004's Crimson Jazz Trio album, or more precisely, like King Crimson as a guitar/bass/drum trio. ...this band has a bright future in a noncommercial sense."

"The playing on this album is complex, focused, and precise. Nelson's bass playing is mesmerizing, Voorhees plays with hypnotic ease, and Dill's guitars will knock you out. ... Our favorite cuts include "Drop the Needle," "Hawk and Mouse," and "Circus." Cool heady stuff with balls."

"... It’s definitely challenging music that is nearly impossible to classify. It also manages most often to groove....This is an exceptional instrumental set either way. "

"Ah, some contemporary malcontent music that blows to doors off their hinges. Adding a bassist to expand to a trio, this crew mixmasters world/jazz/prog/funk/fusion into a heady brew that's anything but one shaded sludge. With everyone heading off in different directions and somehow meeting in the middle, if you want to play this for grandpa, make sure he was into ‘Bitches Brew' Miles or else you'll give him a heart attack and really turn this into killer stuff. This is the kind of stuff genre busting ears require. Well done."

"[Pray for Brain]... scoff at the concepts of time signatures and common structure for 11 genre-defying tracks that both entice and challenge the listener. This album somehow delivers an experience that is all at once disjointed and experimental, yet accessible and catchy. ... there is a level of restraint that serves the songs well and drives them forward into heretofore locally unknown areas of jazzy brilliance. If nothing else, None of the Above is an album for music technique aficionados and proves that complicated music is sometimes so cool, you’ve just gotta get behind it."

"[The] funky alt-jazz, jam band-ish heavyweight ensemble Pray For Brain ...have succeeded in creating a deeply groovy collection of musical explorations that oscillate willfully between pure freedom and deep restraint. This ensemble has chops from here to there, and they aren’t afraid to pronounce their ascendancy with confident virtuosity tempered with an Eastern inflection. It’s drifty, mind-expanding stuff, and Dill’s chunky guitar—laced with sharp leitmotifs and wandering solos—is solidly anchored by a rhythm section that’s as deep and complex as any ocean. Turn the volume up to 11 for this one, kids. "

"The group’s more intense moments are evocative of hard/experimental rockers like Primus (during that band’s more mellow moments), as in “Grind Responsibly,” in which a driving straight-ahead intro in five quickly transitions into a jazzy swing feel and comes all the way back to the beginning by song’s end. The album has been a long time in the works.... But the wait was worth it, particularly for anyone who enjoys unique crossover music that is familiar enough to not deter the ear and sounds as fun to play as it is to listen to."

"It’s easier to say what it isn’t. It’s not power-trio rock, surf music, or funk. It’s not Sufi devotional music, bhangra, or jazz. It’s not bluegrass, jam band, or flamenco. In fact, as the title says, it’s None of the Above, but it does incorporate elements from all of the above, sometimes within the same song. It’s an ecstatic dance party perfumed with coriander. ..."

"...gloriously conglomerated of disparate elements..."

“No Musical Boundaries: Sama Duo taps rock, Middle Eastern and Asian influences”

"Guitarist / oud player Mustafa Stefan Dill and drummer/percussionist Jefferson Voorhees jam away on music that merges Eastern influences with funk. It’s catchy, challenging, spacey and spiritual all at the same time."

"...packed with Hendrix inspired blues licks and string bends, coupled with John McLaughlin out there raw energy bursting into beautifully sustained feedback parries with bass and drums... To coin a well known phrase, 'it's music, but not as we know it Jim.'" (for Stefan Dill Trio, 2002)

Julian Derry - JMWeb

"Loud, burning, skronky stuff (although, they do calm down at times and indulge in some more restrained, quiet passages). It's all very beautiful if you're into this sort of thing, definitely for fans of Mahavishnu John McLaughlin and Nels Cline!! Cool." (for Stefan Dill Trio, 2002)

Aquarius Records

"Eine mitreißende Tour durch eine andere Welt von Klängen und Inspirationen. Flamenco? Ja - aber einmal ganz anders!"

Peter Maier - Gitarre Aktuell ,I/98 (No. 60)

" The work of guitarist Stefan Dill is as daring as it is ambitious and satisfying. ...These are tensions which propel the music - beyond hearing , which is what it ultimately aspires to- is all to do with the delivering of not just sound, but of a pure experience."

Loretta Summers - World Beat (England)

"... Dill's evocative solo nylon stringpieces are an ear-stretching hybrid of Bailey's stark pointillism and traditional flamenco gestures....full of delicate dynamic shading and poignant silences. Soulful and innovative."

Joe Gore - Guitar Player

"Very much in the flamenco vein ...while displaying a sometimes delicate and sometimes turbulent style. Yet his emotional playing has all the elements of what creative improvised music is all about...unquestionably an exceptional performance."

Cadence

"The completeness and extreme originality of guitarist Stefan Dill's art is more than impressive...Crucially, his music is no potpourri: his tastes may be eclectic but he has his own, very distinctive, voice."

Steve Lake - FMP Total Music Meeting 1994 programme notes
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