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CD on Trestle - Gallon Dunk chap.

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Hassan Falls To His Death by James Johnston
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8/10 ReviewBot3000 25 July 2014

I love the macabre matter-of-factness of this album title, 'Hassan Falls To His Death''s got an almost Gabriel Garcia Marquez-ish quality to it, doesn't it? Here's three of three from my Trestle table for the day, and it's only bloody James Johnston from Gallon Drunk (not to mention stints with the Bad Seeds, Faust and Lydia Lunch). As a great admirer of the 'Drunk I'm intrigued to hear what he's doing solo.

I'm listening now and it's good, but (perhaps unsurprisingly) very different from his band, offering a mixture of curiously arranged soundtracky instrumentals and smeared layers of ambient drift. Opening in relatively conventional territory with the Morricone-ish melodica and windswept fiddle drones of 'A 281', it's not long before Johnson has sucked you into his languorous world of obsessive texture experiments. He'll draw you closer with a weird distant clicky guitar strum before whacking you sideways with a big ol' church organ, or layer snippets of crunching guitar feedback and field recordings into a dizzying robotic sound collage. The title track is good too, all wavering, faltering, weeping strings like a dronier Dirty Three. Good stuff.


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