Review of Mount Carmel [12k1090]

African Paper (DE)

Translated from Google:

Although M. Grig does not use ethnographic recordings on his fourth album “Mount Carmel”, he connects the drone pieces, which are mostly based on steel guitars, with his studies of musical ethnology and his interest in field recordings. The eight tracks attempt to capture the aura of his childhood places in rural California, and Grig primarily relies on the kind of empathy that is needed to immerse yourself in the subtleties of a culture and its forms of expression.

The subtleties that “Mount Carmel” revolves around could, according to the mood, be the more semi-consciously perceived details of a place that the awakening perceives in the early hours of the morning through the corners of the eyes and the cracks of the roller shutter. Everything, the lazy roar, the scraping and rattling details, the still disordered guitar playing, is still wrapped in the cotton wool of shy intimacy, until at some point the rising California sun floods the room.

The music with which Grig re-explores the childhood places is a calm, often secluded and pleasantly slow type of drone, which rarely goes dark in Earth-style, turns here and there very easily into jazzy or shoegazy realms and, through the slide -Effects from lap steel and pedal steel guitars are almost inevitable, inheriting from numerous Americana varieties. The course of the individual tracks often changes little, but a provisional-looking move, which sometimes makes you think of a soundcheck, gives the music an openness that ultimately only refrains from evoking the vastness of the Midwest due to the fragmented nature of the motifs.

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