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Pelt: (untitled)

Folks around these parts (including us) have been freaking out over the gorgeous post-Fahey, neo-Appalachian guitar playing of Jack Rose, whose last few records have been massive AQ faves and whose dark and droning, delicate fingerpicked guitar work had us completely mesmerized from the first time we heard it. Makes it easy to forget sometimes that Rose has been making music for years with his equally talented bandmates as Pelt, a group that conjures up extended instrumental ragas, expansive pulsing suites of drone and shimmer, from all manner of bowed strings, bowed metal, hurdy gurdy, sundry Eastern instruments, and simple percussion as well as more traditional instruments like guitar and cello albeit utilized in highly unconventional ways. Makes sense in a way, as Rose's solo guitar is definitely informed by his years exploring the extended drone in Pelt. This new Pelt record, featuring a slightly expanded lineup, continues their quest to discover the heart of the drone, nirvana attained by never ending sound, sonic ripples that pulse and reverberate into infinity, a lovely and mind blowing musical head trip. The first track is a static shimmer, a swirling keening drone, that unlike much drone music, is not at all simple, instead it is a lush and multi layered wash of minor key melodies, stretched and smeared into a slightly ominous, almost cinematic extended dirge, intense and gorgeously imbued with all sorts of feeling and emotion, not often found in experimental minimalist musicks. The second track features Rose's immediately recognizable steel string guitar, which is soon disrupted by creaking streaks of sound and eventually overtaken by a thick fog of moaning cellos, morphing from an Eastern-tinged raga, to a throbbing fuzzed out drone, and eventually settling into a spare ramshackle soundscape of creaks and clatter. Track three is classic Ur-drone, not all that dissimilar to Sunroof! or Total or Vibracathedral orchestra, a cloud of keening high end skree cobbled together from percussive overtones, bowed metal, and ringing harmonics. The final track is a brief splatter of madly sawed cellos, creaking and squeaking strings and random splattery percussion, almost a musical version of 'shaking it off', sort of decompressing after nearly an hour of intense spiritual musicality. All you cd-r hounds / drone-heads that slobber all over everything Sunroof!, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Celebrate Psi and the like should definitely explore the magical mystical world of Pelt.

Aquarius Records