High Places: High Places (Mistletone/Rhythmethod)

 |   |  <1 min read

High Places: Namer
High Places: High Places (Mistletone/Rhythmethod)

In an article posted at Elsewhere recently I wrote of the seductive charms of the quiet albums on Brian Eno's Obscure label in late Seventies/early Eighties, and of other such albums by the likes of Harold Budd, Laaraji, trumpeter Jon Hassell and others.

On one of those lovely Hassell albums -- Dream Theory in Malaya from 1981, an Essnetial Elsewhere album -- there was a piece in which he improvised over the sounds some Malaysian village people making a splashing song in a river. The album was full of oddly disconcerting but quite beguiling processed sounds -- and that was what I thought of immediately I heard this album by the Brooklyn duo of vocalist Mary Pearson and Rob Barber.

High Places (the album) was released late last year but got lost in the pre-Christmas rush, but music this subtle, quiet, gently rhythmic and built over treated percussion and samples deserves being drawn to attention.

Called psychedelic in some circles (slo-mo stoner would seem more appropriate) it actually defies easy categorisation. There is a sense of innocent discovery about it, but it is far too canny and artful to be the result of naive experimentation.

It ebbs and flows, has an understated quasi-acoustic charm and almost outdoor-summery feel as if it were recorded in a field or glade (or a river in Malaysia), and is gently hypnotic.

Do yourself a favour . . . 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2013: READERS' PICKS

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2013: READERS' PICKS

Okay, as editor of Elsewhere I have had my say on the 30 best albums I wrote about this past year (here) -- while freely conceding I did not, could not, hear everything. (Yes, yes the Arctic... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Paul Van Ross: The Buck Stops Here (IA/Rattle)

Paul Van Ross: The Buck Stops Here (IA/Rattle)

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Paul Van Ross recorded these eight originals with a quintet at a Melbourne jazz club (before an inaudible audience, if there was one) in just one day in April 2011.... > Read more

BRUCE IGLAUER OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS: The bossman of the blues

BRUCE IGLAUER OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS: The bossman of the blues

On a per head of population basis, Bruce Iglauer – the founder of Alligator Records – has been the man who has let you hear the real minority stuff. As he said when we spoke in... > Read more