If there’s a musician today who best builds on the Zen folk of John Fahey, it’s James Blackshaw, whose cycling finger-picking and modal zone-outs bring to mind Fahey’s philosophically inspired work. Brethren of the Free Spirit is not the name of some rogue sect from Neal Stephenson’s Anathem, though its music could suit one of that novel’s mathic convents. The Brethren is Blackshaw functioning side by side with outward bound lutist Jozef Van Wissem, who plays his instrument as if it were an occidental sitar. Heard on their recent The Wolf Also Shall Dwell With the Lamb (Important) full length, they collaborate like some intricate device spinning in slow motion, effervescent lines forming meditative patterns that seduce through hypnotism. At times (check out “Into the Dust of the Earth,” a free download from the label’s website: WAV) they have the ersatz-Renaissance feel of some early Metallica song, but the works on The Wolf — needless to say — never launch themselves into a ferocious riff; instead they trickle on at their own quiet pace. Also available for free download is segment of the title track (WAV). More info at importantrecords.com.
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5 Most Recent Posts
• October 13, 2016: This day marks the start of the 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project.
• November 16, 2016: I'll be sharing the mic at Adobe Books in San Francisco with my fellow 33 1/3 author Evie Nagy for an evening hosted, from 7pm to 10pm, by Marc Kate (facebook.com).
• December 1, 2016: A likely speaking engagement. Details to come.
• December 13, 2016: This day marks the 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 5, 2017: This day marks the 5th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0253 / Doorbell Rehab / Record some welcome music. • 0252 / Sonic Palindrome / Make music that sounds the same backwards and forwards. • 0251 / Soothing Sounds for Parents / Remix some music for infants with parents in mind. • 0250 / Soothing Sounds for Junto / Make some peaceful music for an infant child. • 0249 / 80 Phases / Wish the minimalist composer Steve Reich a happy birthday.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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