Thursday, January 12, 2012

SEWN LEATHER "Blood Runs Down the Drain/
No Light in the Hall"
RYAN JEWELL "Radio: Vol. 1"
(Friends and Relatives)


This is the first time I've actually heard the music of Sewn Leather. I wasn't sure what to expect and in fact I'm not sure I've actually heard Sewn Leather at all. The note written by the artist to Friends & Relatives head honcho Justin Clifford Rhody is reprinted on the inner J-card and reads as follows: "Use as much or as little as you want. Dear Justin, I hope these recordings are satisfactory. I was on drugs, mostly hydrocodone, when I made them. I don't think it's Sewn Leather. I think it's 'Riz-La-Rink.'" Alright. This shit is all over the map. We've got some messed up Slang Tang, acoustic songs with variable tape speed and a number of other jams with hip hop undercurrents. Like the music of The Savage Young Taterbug, you can tell that this guy is more than a little "off". This is an aesthetic that really speaks to me. Some people might be turned off by a recording with such a variable nature, but for me it's like a golden nugget.


Ryan Jewell is a percussionist and this is ostensibly a percussion record, but it's actually so much more. He uses very simple textures to work his magic across this tape's two 20 minute sides. From little crinkly sounds to more droned-out textures, Jewell's music fits into what I hear is being called the Reductionalist school of contempo "jazz" (think Bhob Rainey, Greg Kelley, Dave Gross, Forbes Graham and more recently Jack Callahan), but could just as easily be something else entirely. Both of these pieces were recorded on the radio. As Justin says "free of genre, pure of essence."

I think you'd be foolish not to pick up both of these tapes. Contact info available at the Friends & Relatives blog-o-site y'all. Justin's offering a bunch of special deals on tapes, records, cds, human hair and sticks right now. Help him move off this godforsaken rock!

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