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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Davis Redford Triad - 'Ewige Blumenkraft' (Holy Mountain)

I completely forgot that the Davis Redford Triad existed, and it's probably been a near-decade since I last pulled this CD off the rack. After blowing the dust off, I was transported back to the grimy underworld of early 00's space-drone, and particularly the guitar pyrotechnics of Steven Wray Lobdell.  Lobdell is a bearded weirdo who played in Faust on the tour where I saw them, and this was a band he (I think) led, which mined improvisatory space/psych with impressive dynamics. There's not a lot of rock here, at least not until we get deeply into the disc, and the title cut in particular works out some nasty atmospheres. The opening track could be from the third Labradford album, with it's delicate scrapings and slow echoes. It's a good intro, and 'Apocalypse Greeting Card' sets the dark-psych vibe over it's 9 minutes. Occasionally searing, maybe even broiled, but never too sharp.  It's followed by 'Plum Village', a tranquil bit of Kranky-records style guitar twiddling. Such placidity is nice and the album, which is very well recorded, feels cohesive through the slow fades and guitar explorations. Lobdell's playing (at least I think it's him -- the insert photo shows only three musicians and this is a 'triad', yet 5 are credited on the disc and it feels full full full) is like the underground Eddie Van Halen as it glows with a magical prominence. However, it's not just fretboard tapping but wiry, changing sound waves, weaving a quilt that occasionally explodes. I see these guys have put out a bunch of albums since this, so it's time to catch up.

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