"A Whole New Alphabet" C74
(Flag Day Recordings)

Peter J. Woods & Andrew Weathers are both wildly prolific and adventurous in their respective outputs, but not exactly two peas in a pod, genre-wise. PJW, generally running with the harsher, noisier crowd, plays this release markedly tame…almost sonorous…almost, in comparison to his usual MO of power-electronics. Same goes for the polar opposite, Andrew Weathers, a tried &true guitar-soli/folk musician who, while often employing electronic accompaniments to enhance his stringed noodlery, pretty much always keeps the tones bright & airy, harmonious.

So, naturally, they decided to smash their heads together & explore uncharted (&unchartable?) narrative soundscapes, much in the same vein as Ry Cooder and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt did with their legendary (must-hear!) collaboration, "A Meeting by the River", over a quarter of a century ago, which sought to rhythmically destroy xenophobia by sonically reenacting a Rumi poem through "East & West" instrumental dialogue "unhindered by the rules of grammar*".

Bear with me here. I'm not saying that PJW & AW are bridging any social gaps or anything, but they do one HELL of a job bringing their own well-developed skill-sets to the table and complimenting the other's sonic posits with their own finely-honed flavors of knob-tweaking wizardry, thematic teasings, modulation (of modular moods, dudes!), & uncompromising drive.

The 1.25 hour story was recorded live, with each artist's contribution captured & isolated to a separate channel, so headphones'll deliver a wildly different experience than your stereo. Great for long walks (listen twice!) or drawing.

*K. Alexander quote taken from liner notes of AMbtR

--Jacob An Kittenplan