GLENN KOTCHE, "Mobile"

As drummer (well, "multi-percussionist") for Wilco, Kotche deserves a good chunk of the credit for driving the Chicago alt-rockers into wild new realms.

As drummer (well, "multi-percussionist") for Wilco, Kotche deserves a good chunk of the credit for driving the Chicago alt-rockers into wild new realms. His experimental style provides an effortlessly inventive basis for the band's sonic sleight of hand. But despite his incredible talents, Kotche's solo record, partly written during the sessions that produced "A Ghost Is Born," will be largely accessible to percussion academics.

In the comprehensive liner notes, Kotche stresses that he uses "a few simple ingredients" as the basis for each song, but each one also spins pretty quickly into intricate, expansive soundscapes that require some work to keep up with. The piece de resistance is "Monkey Chant," a rich, 11-and-a-half minute tour de force (based on an epic Hindu tale) of shapeshifting rhythms performed entirely on his electro-acoustic kit. Fans of Wilco will certainly oblige Kotche's singular visions; fans of "Being There," maybe not so much. -- Jeff Vrabel