Papa M

Exclaim! - - REVIEWS - VISH KHANNA

A Broke Moon Rises

Un­der­ground mu­sic leg­end David Pajo re­tains his idio­syn­cratic pen­chant for cre­at­ing gui­tar-based mu­sic that is pen­sive, vis­ceral and vividly imag­i­na­tive. On this in­stru­men­tal al­bum as Papa M, he sounds like an artist and per­son work­ing through a range of per­sonal life stuff, with gui­tars as both his sound­ing boards and muses. “The Up­right Path” causes a Slint fan’s ears to perk up a bit, as it may well be a spir­i­tual, per­haps more grounded cousin to Pajo’s old band’s clas­sic, “Don, Aman.” “Walt’s” pos­sesses a sim­i­lar kind of un­steady, med­i­ta­tive mood; it’s an­other bare ar­ray of notes that seem to stay in time, but also slip ev­ery so of­ten to cre­ate a kind of false calm. The lum­ber­ing yet dizzy­ing “A Lighthouse Rev­erie” per­forms a dif­fer­ent kind of hyp­no­sis, as its first half rests upon a lay­ered flurry of arpeg­gios, which even­tu­ally gives way to a break be­fore a gen­tler chord pro­gres­sion and ba­sic per­cus­sion brings the song steadily to shore (though some­one, pre­sum­ably Pajo, is ac­tu­ally heard to mut­ter “Fuck­ing hell” as the fi­nal notes ring). Pajo is a vi­tal master of mu­si­cal trick­ery and vir­tu­os­ity, and it feels par­tic­u­larly for­tu­nate that he re­mains in our midst. (Drag City)

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