MARK MORGAN / MIKE KHOURY “Self-Titled” C70 (Soundholes)


The self-titled tape from Mark Morgan and Mike Khoury on Soundholes is menacing in a way. The two artists – Morgan on guitar and vocals, Khoury on viola – create disorienting movements that are difficult to pin down, even though you have a pretty good idea of what they’re doing. The instruments and Morgan’s voice are layered and mixed in such a way that they’re constantly losing their footing, slipping on slick rocks at the top of a misty seaside cliff and threatening to plunge to their doom. They don’t do that though. They just keep slipping.
Not before barking their shins or scraping their hands first though. It’s a rough world, Morgan and Khoury’s, an uneasy one, and their interplay draws that out. Strings scrape and drone, Morgan wordlessly expresses … whatever, and Khoury expertly weaves samples of everything together for pure mystification. Patterns emerge, submerge, get lost in a fog. The sound is brutally tactile, but not pummeling: naturally brutal, like the sea, or a cliff by the sea, covered in wet rocks. Then the wind whips up, and it becomes a maelstrom! Here comes the plunge.
Too late, already plunged, from “press Play” on. I feel so bruised!