Monday, August 20, 2007

L - Holy Letters

"Holy Letters is a barely-circulated masterpiece of deeply felt self-expression. Recorded in 1989/1990 by Hiroyuki Usui, Holy Letters beautifully captures the spirit and substance of a half-dozen of the key sub-underground pillars of sound. Working with guitar, vocals, vibes, harmonium, bass, drums, cello, field recordings, digeridoo, and more, Usui-san blends delicate folk, psychedelia, and experimental sounds into a mostly subdued but undeniably glowing suite. The layered but careful instrumentation on tracks like the epic "Holy Letters" and "Troll" backs the alternately plain-spoken and crooning vocals perfectly. Odd touches like snatches of throat singing and bowed vibraphone leap out of the mix at just the right time. There are overt references to the blues (the first track is an oblique cover of "Cold Was The Ground") - but other than the occassional slide guitar touch, the connection is overwhelmingly in the timeless feeling and atmosphere. I can hardly think of anything else like "Holy Letters," but suffice to say if you like Richard Youngs, Popol Vuh, Six Organs of Admittance, Tim Buckley, acid-folk, japanese underground - anything like that - this is an essential purchase. Really, I'm not doing it justice."

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ghastly City Sleep - Ghastly City Sleep

Ghastly City Sleep - Ghastly City Sleep
"While two pieces nearly reach the six-minute mark and the other two eclipse nine, the whole offering flows with a smooth liquidity, creating one solidified, captivating body of work. The four young men involved in GHASTLY CITY SLEEP don't stick to one instrument long, as the entire collective can be found playing everything from guitars, keys, various percussion and just about everything in between. The multitude of layers involved here are accompanied by a warm yet haunting array of vocals, all helping to produce this simply epic debut." In terms of this record you should really, really try and buy it because the members of this band have had so many issues trying to release it. It features members of Kayo Dot, City of Caterpillar, and Gregor Samsa so.. you know it has to at least be worth ten bucks.