Home Spun Rhythmotomy: An American Prayer Say what?: Band names don't always come easy, even with the aid of a thesaurus. In Rhythmotomy's case, it was- n't just a name they were looking for. Their whole sound trip was a language, and a word had to be created to translate their sonic hieroglyphs. On the CD, Rhythmoto- my is defined as 1) surgical severance of rhythmical boundaries; 2) a group of like-minded individuals who take percussion to new dimensions; 3) Steve Sandstedt, Jim Long, Tom Hollow, Bob Dreisbach. Sacred grounds: The men found each other at a Thou- sand Oaks drum circle in 1993. Thanks to Robert BIy and the men's movement, drum circles were all the rage, but the men who would form Rhythmotomy were already well versed in the rudiments of drumming. The group still resides above the grade (literally and figuratively) and can be found the third Sunday of every month at Conejo Creek Park invoking the drum lords and indoctrinating the curious. Psychedelic paradiddles: Rhythmotomy's self-titled, self-produced debut CD is a percussive peace pipe that 'combines ethnic rhythms and technology' to create what they call a 'new music for the 21st century.' It's music to be to, do to, dream to and most definitely dance to. It's been called psychedelic drumming and could be classified under 'new age,' but will never be found in a woodenrack full of 'soundscapes' at Target; it's too good. When pushed to categorize their atmospheric,playful and provocative compositions, the term 'worldfusion' is favored. Bang a gong: If Rhythmotomy's sound is light years from garage rock, their extensive and eclectic collection of instruments would leave little room foran automobile. Aluminum and ceramic doumbeks, anklung, artillery casings, balafon, djembe, ngoma, shaman drum, slit drums, apple chime, gongs, congas, harmonium, garage door spring, energy chimes, Tibetan singing bowls and a variety of synthesizers and samplers are some of the tools the group employs to effect the textural complexity heard on the CD. For their next recording (they're currently in the studio), Rhythmotomy is experimenting with glass chakra bowls, which are tuned to resonate with the human body's energy centers, or chakras. The idea is to create music that's not only pleasing or evocative but also healthy. Banking on bliss: 'Do what you love and the rest will follow,' is a noble dictum to be sure, but the cost of bliss can be steep. Just one instrument in Rhythmotomy's cache, the bass waterphone, is made by just one man in Hawaii and runs about $1,600. Unlike many of their fel- low musicians in the rock genre, these guys don't resent their day jobs. They understand that having extra dough in the pantry allows for more freedom on the cutting board. The lack of financial pressure serves the creative process. That's not to say they haven't tasted success. Rhythmotomy is regularly solicited for soundtrack work and the field is wide-open in terms of opportunity. Rhyth- motomy can be found at cdbaby.com, Wally World Music and the outer realms of consciousness and possibility. Michel Cicero VCR June 20, 2002.