Friday, February 23, 2018

"YaW” C58
(Other Electricities)

This is the third release I’ve been given to review via the Other Electricities imprint (Miami, FL) and I’m just as enamored as I’ve ever been. OE knows how to both relax AND subtly challenge their listeners, and I really dig that.

Via the press notes for this release, OE states that “Yaw” is “RIYL: Six Organs of Admittance, James Blackshaw, Jack Rose…”, and this is objectively verifiable. Through 24 vignettes, these mantra’d repetitions of gorgeous, melancholic, nylon-strung-along melodies & minor key meanderings have certainly been done before, both just as smoothly and moodily as said aforementioned luminaries…in fact, it’s almost as if this album didn’t need to exist, having been nearly executed to perfection, plenty of times before…

But this is specifically a companion piece. It is a “what ghosts might have been wrought” collection, to be considered alongside the devastatingly commanding monumental album “MAW”, of which these same tones are wrangled, mangled, and alternately, expertly crafted into a psych-freak-folk masterpiece that is not quite earworm, yet unforgettable, nonetheless.

Perhaps “Yaw” ought be considered a palette cleanser, or, mayhaps a soul-whetter. It sates. It engages. Yet it slips in & out of memory and definition. It accepts respect, suggests addiction, but retreats noncommittally into itself, to be de-and-re-constructed again, and again, in passing thought. Strap on decent headphones to catch the otherwise all-too-subtle droning spectres deeply planted throughout.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan