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- Those Who Came Before... by Die Geister Beschwören
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Die Geister Beschworen are not a German band as I assumed when I first grabbed this CD off the review pile, but is in fact the brainchild of a certain ‘Oryan Peterson-Jones’ of Portland/Austin, who used to live with Ben Chasny as far as I gather from the press release. Peterson-Jones plays all manner of instruments on here, many of which I’ve never heard of (Balagma, anyone? Phin? Gopiyantra? No, me neither), so it’s fair to say that there’s a certain “ethnomusicological” bent here, but actually the main feel is one of gentle pastoral psych-folk with soft tones and lilting rhythms and some nice tones, both familiar and unfamiliar.
The primary instrument through the album is guitar. The sounds are pretty much exclusively organic (unless you count the odd touch of synthesizer, which is particularly effective in closer ‘Casa Cometa’) and this is a collection of a dozen reasonably concise instrumentals which are consistently melodic and accessible. The East-meets-West tranquil vibes are immediately bringing to mind Orfanado, or maybe Ass with more adventurous instrumentation. Six Organs’ acoustic stuff is also a slightly lazy but worthwhile comparison. It’s a heady, exotic and intoxicating trip, but never overwhelming.
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