Digital IndustriesJames Blackshaw : Lost prayers and motionless dances -cdr- (UK,2004)***°
This release contains just one 34 and a half minute track, which starts with harmonium drones and a C-F-C-F-C-F tuning, and is raga-like, with acoustic 12-string guitar, which evolves beautifully ; this is followed by some semi-acoustic environmental sound improvisations which transforms into a musical group’s performance with some organised noise as one of the elements, until the harmonium, guitar and a cymbal concludes with a sufi-like circular conclusion. According to the liner notes this piece uses 12-string guitar, harmonium, radio, bells, ride cymbal and floor tom.
For this release there are similar interests such as with Six Organs Of Admittance / Red Favorite but also any of the post-Takoma artists come easily to mind. In some way in sphere the recording holds the middle between raga, experiment ans even a sufi experience.
Thompkins SquareJames Blackshaw : Lost prayers and motionless dances -cd- (UK,2004,re.2010)****
I gave the reissue of the long track previously published as a CDR release only (I was one of the few to have ordered it) a second listen, and the piece sounds more dynamic than I remembered it. It starts with a long harmonium improvisation, with a slightly melancholic effect which middle eastern harmonium meditations have (remember Gurdjieff harmonium recordings). Than after near 9 minutes some acoustic guitar raga is started. This receives an ending with a plastic bag-alike percussion (electrically processed sound I wondered? –it is a radio the liner notes say-), with bass drum and hand bells. Then after 27 minutes a minimal guitar theme starts to participate, reforming the total sound into a droning hypnotic repetitive area with some variations. Then suddenly the track breaks into a new part, led by heavy strummed guitar, percussion and harmonium, making an impressive and convincing ending. A convincing track !
A split release with Davenport will be released soon.