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- Mallet Guitars Three by Ex-Easter Island Head
8/10 Mike Staff review, 10 October 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed Ex-Easter Island Head’s previous ‘Mallet Guitars’ offering so I’m happy to see that part three has arrived this week. Here there are four new movements of the Liverpudlian avant-drone team’s unique soundscapes of gentle repetitive polyrhythms and shimmering struck guitars. Once again it’s a very satisfying concoction.
It’s a pleasing fusion of ‘80s New York no wave ideas and more meditative drone/ambient textures, particularly effective in the opening movement of the second side here, which marries a hypnotic and organic Philip Glass-esque rhythm with the gently lulling drone chords of the struck guitars with surprisingly krauty effects, the focus being on the slowly morphing rhythmic clicks as the ringing strings produce a huge ringing chord whose emphasis keeps shifting imperceptibly. The other piece on this second side impresses too, with unsettling (bowed? Sounds like it...) drones sliding around queasily in gliding layers of glissando clamour that’s like a cross between a string section tuning up and one of Rhys Chatham’s huge guitar ensembles. If you like experimental music but find it can often seem like a chore to listen to, I suggest you give this lot a try.
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