Thursday, April 3, 2008

six organs of admittance - compathia

i'm sure every person has artists that they adore but sometimes slightly ignore when talking about their tastes. i'm certainly guilty of that in regards to today's post, an artist who i think at one time i perceived as the best guitarist in current music. with his last two records under the Six Organs of Admittance guise that opinion has fallen out of place but with his excellent back catalogue and his work with Badgerlore and Comets on Fire, listening to Ben Chasny is always provoking and interesting. 'Compathia' in my mind is the best album put out under the Six Organs of Admittance name. while some may argue that 'Dark Noontide' is his most concise work, or that 'School of the Flower' represents his most eclectic voice i can not help but love the half stoned guitar exercises that make up most of 'Compathia' and Chasny's early Six Organs work.

six organs of admittance's 'comapthia'
where does the intelligence in this music really come from? in my mind, it is the brilliant way Chasny combines the aspects of an acoustic guitar and drones together to create something that is both unique and extremely attractive. 'Somewhere Between' is a great example of this with how sparse its middle is compared to the vocal parts of the song. 'Compathia' though is kind of a diversion from that process, the last remnants of his avant garde sounds being expunged before he turned into the Drag City indie icon he has sort of become. where his early records seemed to evoke some kind of unstructured noise 'Compathia' has a distinct structure to it, many of the songs feature vocals and choruses. even though Chasny seems to be moving in a more acceptable direction, there are certainly a few anomalies on this album. 'Only The Sun Knows' the closer is a sonic experiment featuring Ethan Miller of Comets on Fire and excellent track and one of Six Organs best. experimental folk balanced with a good backing of actual songs. think John Fahey meets Gary Higgins.

Six Organs of Admittance - Compathia (2003)


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OrangeDrink said...

I have to admit, I felt Compathia lost a lot when he veered more towards freak folk and away from drone, like in Nightly Trembling. But I also loved The Sun Awakens, so who knows?

thanks for the post.