Dirty Three post-rock snoozer Jim White, who isn't a snooker player, once again joins forces with lute player Giorgos Xylouris in their lazily named supergroup Xylouris White. I'll give them a free pass once more as their music continues to be frenetic, moving at joyful accelerations. They follow up Goat with Black Peak, another record of loosely-tightened drums with compelling rhythms, jaunty lute riffing and trembling vocal ecstasy.
6/10 Clinton Staff review, 05 October 2016
For those about to Lute we salute you.
This is a collaboration between Jim White (the Dirty Three)and George Xylouris, the Cretan lute player. Their line up is the lesser spotted fusion of lute and drums which generally brings for unique, shapeshifting sounds. I'm not sure about the vocals on opener 'Black Peak' which mainly remind me of what it might be like to be serenaded by a brusquely over-exubarant lute player just as you've settled down with a pina colada on your dream holiday.
They are the main distraction throughout here as the combination of instruments is rather wonderful at times especially when they keep things plaintive on the haunting 'Erotokritos' but even here the vocals make me splutter my tea over the keyboard. Really they should keep this as a duo between the instruments which is enough to attain satisfaction. on 'Short Rhapsody' the lute wanders and bends all over the place whilst White's drums pant along trying to keep up leading to an explosion of tangled playing. They are at their best on this and the following 'Pretty Kondiles' and the closing 'The Feast' which contains some scraping violin.
These latter tracks save the album from a feeling of authentic music for tourists. The more splintered it gets the more I'm enjoying it. A truly unique sound but takes a convoluted route to pleasing the listener.
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