“I called this Black Ink with a cover of an octopus expelling ink as a defense mechanism because...
Published: 08/01/2013 | 0 Comments Posted
“When you’re tired of foolin’ round with two or three, come on home and fool around with me.” That’s classic Buck Owens — and that’s how Vince Gill and Paul Franklin roll on their new Bakersfield (MCA Nashville), alternating Owens and Merle Haggard hits. Both of those defiant country legends knew who they were and proudly blew off the “country-politan” vibe the suits were pushing. People who already resonate to the pure sorrow in these songs will thrill to Gill’s singing and the subtle sound of heartache, evenly answered by Franklin’s weeping pedal steel.
Jazzers by background and instrumentation — upright bass, piano and drums — Brooklyn trio Dawn of Midi is really more like a group of avant-garde minimalists with mind-bending chops. Their music, with its metronomic lock-grooves and precise builds, feels more like an acoustic transposition of abstract, mechanistic techno. Throughout the continuous nine-part suite comprising Dysnomia (Thirsty Ear), the tension ratchets up from crisp Reichian calm to ominous, palpable agitation.
—K. Ross Hoffman
Chi-town dronemeisters Bitchin Bajas shred righteously through the heart of the gooey, synth-y unfurlery pervading the expansive opening cut (“Transcendence,” natch) on Bitchitronics (Drag City). Later, it’s flutes and Frippertronics on “Inclusion,” tambura-esque Alice Coltrane hat-tips on “Turiya” and less discernible shoals of cosmic resonance. This isn’t the pure-minded, chin-stroking beauty of your typical ambient clinicians; these cats take a full-throttle approach to spiritual surrender and serenity.
—K. Ross Hoffman
Stuart McLamb showed himself to be a resourceful maker of guitar-pop on The Love Language’s 2009 debut, overcoming a low budget with nuance and catchiness. He hardly faced the same restrictions on the band’s third LP, Ruby Red (Merge); some 20 musicians were enlisted over a three-year span to push Love Language into a more listener-friendly realm. But the weighty production causes the tracks to bleed together as one long toe-tapper that may leave your legs weary. Underneath all the layers, there are some standouts: “Calm Down” sounds like The Shins doing jam, while “Hi Life” is tastefully ambitious.
Benoit & Sergio
This D.C./Berlin production duo has, since 2010, issued a string of strange, subtle, almost...
If Guardian Alien were nothing more than a vehicle for the torrential force-of-nature drumming of...