Friday, September 21, 2007

BRI WHITE / JAMES FELLA "When Night Comes" (Gilgongo)

It is rare that a cassette captivates me with it's every moment. Yet here it is, a beautiful little c-10 out of PDX/PHX that succeeds in every way. Bri White's voice fills side A with sad thoughts about having to consider a friend too far gone to save, wanting people back, and other ways to hurt loved ones. The direct life lessons in her lyrics are akin to Edith Frost. Her guitar playing is so well arranged with her voice that they truly become one in the story telling process. If you have even a single folky bone in your body, then this is completely essential. James Fella then reveals himself as a true master of all that is sound, blending noise with ballad melodies in a way that is completely smooth. While the harsh/soothing dynamic is far from unknown in noise (see Pedestrian Deposit, Impregnable, etc) James Fella is a complete outsider to this approach which makes his results refreshing; unlike anything I've heard since Whitman's side of the Whitman / Watching Him Die split cassette. Unlike Whitman though, Fella roots his sounds in nostalgia rather than oddity. Confident layering of rhythms and crisp textures characterize both the harsh and melodic moments of this piece. Again, an essential side here making this tape and absolute must.