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- Mallet Guitars Two / Music For Moai Hava by Ex-Easter Island Head
9/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 19 September 2012
Liverpool’s Ex-Easter Island Head have an LP here with two fairly different pieces of their hypnotic, otherwordly experimental minimalism, starting on the A-side with ‘Mallet Guitars Two’, which incorporates brass, percussion, singing bowls and prepared third-bridge guitars to create four movements of shimmering, hypnotic polyrhythms with shimmering chords and cymbal washes making a drowsy and immersive concoction which recalls the likes of Moondog, Philip Glass and Rhys Chatham.
On the flip there’s ‘Music for Moai Hava’, which is performed with the 27-piece a.P.a.t.T Orchestra, an inclusive ensemble of no fixed size or instrumentation, and is another piece of primarily percussive minimalism, with gang-up handclaps, lots of subtle percussive bamboo chatter and more gentle open-chord prepared guitar drones. It’s got quite a ritualistic feel to it and is kind of reminding me a little bit of the freewheeling good vibes created by Sunburned Hand of the Man, but still with a lot of that classic NY-style minimalist playfulness keeping things anchored.
In the middle there’s a quick break for gongs and tinkles before a more intense and rocky drum passage comes in, alternating between shimmering guitar drones and clattering cymbals and tambourines with bouncy intensity before cutting off abruptly for a final section of therapeutic drone and putter which sounds quite celestial and uplifting with gently building vocal drones over guitar shimmer on a bed of feather-light percussive flourishes. Really interesting and unique-sounding stuff!
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